The Gardenist: MICHAEL MCCOY SHARES SOME TIPS FOR HOME GARDENERS

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Michael McCoy’s take on gardening is an interesting one, rather than concentrating on the decorative aspects of a garden, he believes that it’s the design behind a garden that is the most important element.

“The critical thing is to seperate the planting that is there for decoration and the planting that is there to create structure and architecture and to basically define your spaces. I think that nearly all home gardeners err on the side of thinking of everything in terms of its decorative value,” the Gardener, botanist and author of The Gardenist blog tells Blooms in an exclusive sit down chat.

For many beginner gardeners, the thought of re-doing an entire space can be overwhelming. Thankfully, The Gardenist, Michael McCoy has shared some specific tips for the home gardener with Blooms Magazine to help make the task a little less daunting.

1 . PICTURE THE SPACE AS A WHOLE

Michael shares that picturing a space as a whole and planning how it will make you feel is an important fundamental, and something that should be considered before any planting takes place. “First of all, try to think of the space as a three dimensional sculpture that you will dwell in. A space that needs to open and close around you in an interesting and rhythmic and beautiful way,” he recommends.

“I think how the garden feels is nearly always about how it captures and holds you, it’s basically about things like implied walls and implied ceilings, that a lot of the time it’s not the critical prettiness of the plants that you’re looking at, it’s often the background plants or the canopy of trees over head.”

2 . DON’T OVERDO IT ON LOUD PLANTS

Visiting a nursery for an inexperienced gardener can be an overwhelming experience. With so many beautiful plants and flowers it can be tempting to envision them all in your new garden. But, Michael recommends not going over the top with too many big and bright plants.

“Separate the planting that is there for decoration and the planting that is there to create structure and architecture and to basically define your spaces,” he recommends. “Any garden only needs a very small proportion of A-list plants; for every superstar you have – just like the casting in a movie -you need a whole lot of co-stars and extras. If your garden is full of A-Listers, it’s just going to scream at you from all angles.”

“One of the things you need to remember is that is you’re creating the stage on which those decorative plants will dance, as well as the decoration.”

3 . DON’T SKIP ON THE PREPARATION

Going back to basics, Michael can’t stress the importance of quality preparation. “Simply do not skimp on soil preparation. In my case, the garden I made twenty or so years ago on a really low budget, I spent most of my budget on soil preparation and the result and growth was extraordinary, it was explosive because of good and thorough soil preparation, so don’t skimp on that,” he shares.

Like Michael’s tips? To read more head to www.thegardenist.com.au
@thegradenist