Botanical GardenThe garden is a pedant’s domain. Gardening offers opportunity for meticulous trimming, geometric precision, and uniform lawn height. It warrants the kind of protectiveness normally reserved for the parental instincts.

And now it’s summer, and the game just got tougher.

The good news is that keeping ahead of your neighbours in the grand garden exhibition doesn’t have to be difficult. There are a few handy ways to keep your plant display ahead of the competition in the precious few months of sunshine we get here in the UK.

Take note.

Promoting Space

Understanding how to maximise your garden’s potential to drop envious jaws starts with knowing its dimensions. It’s all about producing space.

Use reflective surfaces such as outdoor mirrors (traditional indoor models will not weather well) and small ponds. This allows more light around the garden and emphasises the space that you do have, so positioning is key. Reflect your open spaces, not your cluttered ones.

Smaller gardens should employ a colour scheme of primarily cooler tones; blue and purple always works a treat. Flowers like blue hydrangeas and purple hyacinths add space because they aren’t as intense as marigolds or Red Lions. Only use bold colours as accent pieces, such as pastel orange scatter cushions and red candles. Employing neutral tones throughout the rest of the space will really promote these small bursts of colour.

Your neighbours may have all the nicest furnishing and exotic plants, but if they aren’t utilising their space properly, your garden will look better than theirs every time.

Furniture

What’s the good of a garden if you can’t recline and look upon your creation?

Installing the best garden furniture is the final frontier in giving your neighbours a run for their money. If you’re lucky enough to have decking, make the most of contemporary outdoor corner sofas and bistro sets. Guests need to feel well accommodated for; having outdoor furniture that goes above and beyond your typical wicker and wrought iron puts you in the lead straight away.

To get ahead, consider new garden innovations that could really wow your neighbours. Quick-dry rugs for example are becoming increasingly popular, and are especially useful in adding flair to decking and patio furnishings.

Maintenance

If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you need to learn how to maintain your garden. Learn all about your flowers and find out how to encourage blooming, what kind of composts work best with them, and how to position them for optimum nutrition and light.

What tends to be forgotten about is furniture maintenance. Every now and again, outdoor furniture will need a clean, but the technique varies quite drastically between materials. 

Intense rain and cold can inflict damage to some outdoor furniture, so come October put them into storage until perhaps April. Alternatively, make sure you have adequate furniture covers in place. 

If you still want to entertain in the winter months, get your hands on some patio heaters and install outdoor lighting that’s positioned to emphasise your garden’s image as well as provide light for guests.