Horticultural consultants and garden designers in Glasgow are often asked for advice about maintaining newly created gardens. Garden designs should be created with an idea of future garden maintenance requirements in mind. Tom Angel ran a garden maintenance business for a long time before starting up his garden design studio in Glasgow, ensuring that garden designs are created with a precise knowledge of what garden maintenance is going to be required in future years.
Weeding is something a lot of people do not enjoy, but it need not be back-breaking work. The tools for the job here are a hoe, a stone rake and ideally a hand-fork. You do not need to physically remove every weed that you come across, and whilst ideally you will be able to uproot weeds with their roots and all, it does not matter if you cannot do this. The trick is regular weeding, as if you keep on cutting weeds in half and turning them into the soil, they do not get a chance to take hold. There are of course more stubborn weeds such as Aegopodium podagraria (Ground Elder/Bishopsweed) and Elymus repens (Couch Grass), but regular hoeing and turning will weaken even these imposters. Weeds over about 3cm in height I do remove, and once you have weeded a section of bed, take the stone rake to it to further disturb the soil surface and neaten the appearance.
Grass cutting is the other labour-intensive job that needs doing in the garden, but again you can have a pragmatic approach towards this. Once grass is growing rapidly, if you want a pristine lawn you could be mowing as regularly as twice per week. However, the golden rule is not to leave it any longer than once every two weeks. During the period of vigorous growth this will mean that your grass gets a little long between cuts, but the key is to stop weeds in the lawn setting seed. If you do let weeds flower and seed, your lawn will deteriorate more quickly as the more aggressive weeds gradually out-compete the grass plants. If you have time, weekly cuts are a happy compromise.
Hedge cutting can be timed to get the best results from your efforts. Hedges such as Ligustrum spp. (Privet) and Buxus sempervirens (Box) should receive the first of their three cuts some time in May, but be guided by how much growth there has been – does it look messy or not? If you are yet to plant a hedge, consider the fact that the likes of Fagus sylvatica (Beech), Carpinus betulus (Hornbeam) and Crataegus monogyna (Hawthorn) only need one cut per year, in late summer. Remember, when trimming hedges always make sure you check for birds’ nests first.
Tom Angel set up Angel Horticulture Ltd in 2017 offering garden advice as a horticultural consultant as well as garden design, planting plans, Japanese Knotweed surveys and plant sourcing from where he is based in Glasgow.
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