Who doesn’t think of a garden these days? But when it comes to your (unkempt) life or just want to get started, Fernando Wong and Tim Johnson, the duo behind landscape design company Fernando Wong Outdoor Living Design, are here to help. Currently starring TV personality Chris Lambton and house goddess Martha Stewart on the new Discovery + garden show Clipped, Wong has joined Johnson to share with ELLE DECOR her foolproof gardening tips and it for the to make the coming seasons thrive. Speaking of the seasons, don’t miss the Clipped finale on June 16.
Do: Invest in your landscaping (and yourself)
If your garden became your haven during the pandemic, it’s time to give it some upkeep in return. “We come from a year in which the garden was always there for you,” says Wong. “If possible, invest in good lawn service. Take care of your trees or even grow some edible flowers. ”
Do: Think like an interior designer
As with any good design project, approaching your garden with a plan is vital – even if it’s an incremental one. Wong recommends focusing on your trees first, then prioritizing privacy elements like security. Once these main elements are in place, you can start working from the periphery inward. “You can move things around over time when funding is available,” Wong explains.
One of Fernando Wong’s tips for starting a garden is to start planting the privacy hedges along the perimeter and work your way towards the house.
Plants near your home? Keep it neat. “We always want to use classic design principles,” continues Wong, who likes to use box hedges as privacy screens and one or two shaped cuts. Then when you move away from home, the design can get wilder and more meadow-like.
Working on a flower bed? Proceed as you would in your living room and choose the right tones and colors. Commenting on his company’s strategy, Wong says, “We try to match soft colors and not use many hot or harsh colors.”
Don’t: sell out for exotic varieties
Although they can be showstoppers, exotic plants are no longer a given, according to Johnson. Instead, contact local species. Not only are they beautiful, hearty and sustainable, they are also doing a favor to the other living beings around you. “By using native plants, you not only use less water and fertilizers and pesticides,” he explains, “but there’s this whole ecosystem that comes back with native planting because it attracts different insects and birds. You bring back all of this nature by using natives. ”
The landscaping of the Surf Club Miami, designed by Fernando Wong Outdoor Living Design, is rich in palm trees in keeping with the tropical climate.
Courtesy Fernando Wong Outdoor Living
Do: Consider a kitchen garden
Not ready to tackle your entire garden yet? Try a trendy kitchen garden. “We have seen a huge increase in the demand for kitchen gardens with raised beds, ”observes Johnson. “People are much more focused on growing their own food and going out into the garden and picking the lettuce or a tomato or getting a lime from a tree.”
Do: Start small – and ask for help
If you’re brand new to gardening, “start with houseplants,” Wong insists.
Lucky to have an outdoor space but don’t know what to do with it? “Start with an inspirational photo. Think about how you want your yard to feel, ”continues Wong. “Then take this photo to Home Depot or a garden center. You will have so much fun learning about gardening. “
For gardeners and green fingers alike, Johnson recommends the Picture This plant app. “It can literally identify millions of plants. When you see something you love, it will tell you what it is. ”He says. “Also, a brown leaf will tell you what’s wrong with your plant.”
Don’t: love your plants Also Much
“Eighty percent of house plant homicides are due to overwatering,” warns Johnson. “You want to soak it, but let it dry again.”
Do: Socially distance your plants
According to Johnson, many first-time gardeners make the mistake of squeezing their new plants too tightly – a move that can prevent the plants from achieving their full, abundant potential. “First time gardeners often don’t give plants a chance to grow,” he says. “A garden should look beautiful when it goes in, but it should grow and mature and become more beautiful over time.”
And that leads to Johnson’s last – and perhaps most important – point: “Be patient.”
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