Sometimes there is just a little something missing which, if put right, could make a beautiful garden into a real gem - with little time and effort, but maximum effect.
Idea 1: Flowers with a fresh effect
Gorgeous flowerbeds are the highlight of any beautiful garden. If you have a few bare spots, annuals such as marigolds, cosmias or zinnias are grateful gap fillers and can be planted quickly. Flowerbeds in which flowers have been carefully and deliberately arranged create really special results, though. The combination of the tones of different herbaceous perennials such as blazing star, allium, phlox and oriental poppies creates a fresh and stimulating effect. Furthermore, if you vary flower shapes and heights, you can create a highly individual feast for the eyes.
Idea 2: Mini water oasis
Water refreshes any garden. It is appealing, calming and relaxes you. With a little bit of imagination you can make your dream water world into reality in just a few square metres of space. If you combine tropical water lilies in watertight glass Asian ornamental tubs with papyrus and yellow irises, for example, their far eastern flair can cast a spell on you. Zinc troughs and wooden barrels planted with rannoch rush, marsh marigolds and pickerel weed are big attention-getters.
Idea 3: Shaped edges for a green carpet
It is the pride and joy of many an amateur gardener: A well-kept green lawn. However, you simply opt for a completely square or rectangular lawn, the effect can be rather boring. Recessed beds with an impressive variety of plants which project out into the lawn like islands add some pizazz. Even small groups of trees and shrubs can be planted on a lawn at a later stage; they create more interest because they hide the areas behind them from view.
Idea 4: Creative screening for a cosy spot
Even in your little spot of paradise, there is no need to feel like you're sitting in a goldfish bowl. Trellis work with ornamental climbing plants, high shrubs and evergreen topiary hedges provide sophisticated protection from prying eyes. Wrought-iron screens and plant supports are ideal if you don't have a lot of room. They also create a sense of space. As deft perennial climbers such as roses, clematis or honeysuckle grow up such structures, they create a flowering piece of art which draws attention to itself yet screens the area behind it. Opaque exotic plants like the large-leafed Dutchman's pipe and the graceful passion flower create a really pleasant atmosphere in seating areas.