Renovating gardens on the French Riviera – reawakening sleeping beauties
When gardens are overgrown and neglected it can be complicated to decide where and how to start a renovation project. It is not a good idea to follow an impulse of just clearing an area by cutting down all trees and shrubs and start all over again. Some of your plants may be old and might have a good potential, once their surroundings are cleared or reshaped.
Some trees and shrubs, which look terrible now, might look great again, when they are renovated correctly. Some may look quite beautiful now, but a little disproportionate where they are: they should better be transplanted and reshaped. Then again, others might have been pruned incorrectly for a long time and are in need of a thorough crown restoration over more than one season.
How do we accomplish a garden renovation project?
Depending on the size of a project, it is often more reasonable to start step by step, instead of attaking an overgrown garden right away. With your wishes in mind we can develop a renovation concept, where a future garden design is already partly considered. After discussing this concept with you, we can prepare and supervise your garden’s renovation – and of course execute the “tricky parts” ourselves.
After the existing greenery has regained its structure, it’s far easier to start a thorough garden design. This process not only respects your garden’s plants and wildlife, it also is financially more sustainable.
- First we analyze your garden to get a picture of its potential.
- We determine which trees and shrubs are rare and special.
- We find out which trees and shrubs have seeded themselves everywhere and may suggest to take them out.
- We mark those trees or shrubs that have a great potential due to their decorative form.
- We tag those specimens that simply need a little more space by taking out every other plant.
- Finally we suggest which plants should be taken out for good and which ones should be transplanted elsewhere.
Practical steps to renovating outgrown woody plants
- Remove all dead, damaged or diseased wood, all the way down to the base, and a few centimeters into healthy tissue.
- Prune out congested and all potentially crossing branches.
- Take out already crisscrossing growth.
- Open up tree or shrub “inside – out”.
- Cut back the length or height of a tree or shrub in several steps, working “top – down”, to carefully achieve a balanced and beautiful framework.
- Train new leaders “bottom up” (sometimes this requires more than one season).
- Check vigorous “counter reactive” growth of soft shoots at base and along the trunk and stems regularly.
- “Rub out” new and unwanted eyes along the trunk or branches on a regular basis.
- Mulch, feed and water properly after a tree’s or shrub’s renovation to initiate new growth quickly.