How to: Create a garden to bring out the best in you

It’s National Gardening Week (10th-16th April) and we’re aiming to inspire as many people as possible to get out and enjoy quality time in their outdoor space. One very good reason to get outdoors is because gardening is good for you. In fact, research shows that spending time in your garden makes you feel happier and reduces stress levels dramatically.

Furthermore spending time outside lowers blood pressure, improves your mood, and makes us more likely to sleep better so a good session in your garden will allow you to reap the benefits of this.

Just getting outdoors and tending some plants will give your health and wellbeing a huge boost, but here are six ways to make your garden really good for you. Why not try one of them this week?

1. Fragrant plants help you to relax

Beautiful scents can be very reminiscent of past times and bring back memories of special times in our lives. They are so evocative and certain plants can be real scented stars in your home or garden.

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  • Honeysuckles have a sweet scent and are renowned for producing flowers in great abundance through the summer. It is a beautiful climber that will grow in a sunny spot and will make a fantastic show if it’s trained through trellis or over an archway.
  • Lavender oil is well known for its relaxing properties, and planting a lavender bush or two near a seating area can help to ease stress and tension.
  • Sweet Peas are a real garden favourite for adding colour and fragrance to your garden. Planted in borders or tubs and grown up an obelisk they will provide bunches of sweet scented flowers to cut for your home.
  • Roses are renowned for their fabulous fragrance but be careful to choose carefully as some of the modern varieties are not as scented. We recommend the range from David Austin that have that classic rose style and most varieties have a lovely perfume.

2. Create your oasis

Sitting peacefully in a secluded part your garden is so relaxing as you can forget about the world outside. As much as we all love flowers, green is one of the most calming colours so make sure that you plant a good range of evergreens. Introduce white and pastel blue or pink flowers in border drifts or nestled containers for added interest.

  • Bamboos make brilliant screens at the back of your borders with their tall stems and characteristic foliage.
  • For added interest include plants with larger leaves like the Caster Oil Plant (Fatsia japonica). Their lush, glossy foliage will give a tropical feel to borders or containers.
  • Introduce a small freestanding water feature into your garden scheme and listen to the soothing sound whilst relaxing at the end of a hard day at work.

3. Grow healing plants

Many plants are used in medicine and herbal remedies, but some can be used directly for common ailments.

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  • Mint is wonderful for indigestion – just put a few leaves into a cup, pour on fresh water and steep for five minutes.
  • Lavender flowers are both soothing and can aid sleep. Dry the flowers, make them into small lavender bags and hang them on your head board to aid relaxation and sleep.
  • We have a large range of herbs in stock now with 9cm pots on offer at 5 for £10.

4. Introduce some colour therapy

Planting colourful seasonal bedding plants will produce a lovely display in your garden this summer but also consider the range of colours as the palette you use will affect the feeling of the display leading to a change of mood as you walk around your garden.

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  • Now is the time to start planning and planting your borders and pots to ensure a summer of colour. Walk around your garden now and decide which colour schemes you would like to include in your planting.
  • Soft pink is one of the most calming colours, so if you want a garden that’s relaxing as well as attractive then selecting shades of pink will achieve this.
  • Pale blues and violets are also soothing, so opt for these hues as accent colours and combine with white to balance the effect.
  • Plant warmer colours like yellow, orange or reds to lift your spirits and add excitement to your borders and tubs. Dahlias are a favourite in these colour ways and they are so easy to grow for a whole summer of colour.
  • White flowers are recommended to introduce into lightly shaded areas as they will brighten darker spots in the garden or around the patio. New Guinea Busy Lizzies are great for summer colour or try Hydrangeas or Viburnum tinus for a more permanent solution.

5. Plant Your “5 a day” now

As we all know we are being constantly reminded about eating our “5 a day” or even “10 a day” portions of fruit and vegetables. Thank goodness that you can grow these in your garden.

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  • Blueberries are not only delicious to eat they are full of goodness and antioxidants. They’re harvested from compact bushes that can be easily grown in open ground using Ericaceous Compost. They can also be grown in pots as long as they are planted in John Innes Ericaceous Compost.
  • Micro greens are tiny seedlings of plants such as beetroot, mustards, coriander, basil, pea and more, sown thickly and harvested when they are just an inch or so tall, when they are packed with vitamins and nutrients. You can grow them in seed trays on a window sill so they are to hand when you need them for a salad topping.
  • If you haven’t grown your own before, start with a few easy vegetables like Lettuce and Radish as they are quick; Dwarf French Beans are delicious and don’t need complicated supports; Courgettes are hugely productive. Sow them directly into soil from late April onwards, or we have a fantastic range of starter vegetable plants in store to buy now – make sure you protect from slugs.


If you implement a couple of these ideas in your garden or terrace, you’ll be reaping the benefits for many years to come, so why not make a start? Just getting outdoors and planning it will do you good! Get more gardening inspiration here and speak to our experts in-store.