Looking after your garden can be a wonderful holiday from the stresses of everyday life. Gardening is a meditative process, and the end result is a beautiful space you can share with family and friends. But the summer of 2022 brings with it new challenges for the domestic gardener – not in the least in the form of wild weather and hosepipe bans in many districts. How should you approach garden care with respect to these new challenges?

Pruning Shrubs

Your various shrubs, hedges and trees have the most visual impact on the overall tidiness and health of your garden and should be managed accordingly. The larger a shrub or hedge grows, the more moisture it will need to draw up from the bed in which it is planted – something which can pose serious difficulty when it comes to potted shrubs and the hosepipe ban.

The solution is to pare back your shrubs further using than you would usually by utilising a pruning saw, minimising their water intake and ensuring they do not suffer the warm weather too badly. This approach can also work for your hedges, but you should be mindful of doing the same for your trees; they may be providing crucial shade to other plants and flowers.

New Plants

You might be in the process of re-invigorating your flowerbeds this summer, but the UK’s ‘new normal’ for unusual weather patterns will have likely thrown off your initial plans. If you’re planning for longevity and a relatively low-maintenance future garden, it can help to be judicious with your new plant choices.

For example, there are many drought-tolerant plants you can employ to keep your garden fresh and healthy without excessive care and attention; hardy geraniums and bearded irises are strong choices for a colourful, long-lasting and resilient flower bed.

Regular Mowing

A regular mowing schedule can have a profound impact on the overall tidiness of your garden. Grass blades do not grow uniformly, and you can find yourself with a patchy lawn very soon after mowing. Mowing often keeps everything neat and within tolerance.

Mowing your garden on a regular basis can also help you better manage the healthy growth of your garden grass. Mowing encourages your grass to grow thicker, ensuring you have a more lush and hard-wearing lawn for your efforts. Regular mowing also limits the ‘shock’ your lawn experiences; the ‘one third’ rule dictates you should never remove more than a third of your lawn’s height in one mowing session, for the health of your lawn.

It is important to note, though, that 2022 is an unnaturally dry year, which can spell danger for tightly trimmed lawns especially in light of the aforementioned hosepipe ban. The solution is to set your mow height a little higher, and keep your grass longer than you would usually. This helps your lawn retain moisture and weather the drought effectively.

Claire Preece