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17 September 2014
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how to be a gardener - The complete online guide

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6 - Hot spot design
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Hot spot garden
Designing for a hotspot
Most people want their suntrap right outside the patio doors, but if the back of the house doesn’t get much sun it is better to use your sunniest corner.

A hot spot gives you the opportunity to recreate the kind of gardens you’ve seen on holidays abroad.

Hard landscaping - such as paving, walls and containers - does a lot to create your particular ‘look’, but the right plants really set the scene.

Naturally you need plants that are sun-lovers, or they won’t stand the extreme conditions. But remember height, colour and texture. Strong contrasts really bring out the unique character of a hot spot garden.
You could go for the plant-packed Mediterranean terrace look, using aromatic evergreen herbs and sun-loving osteospermums.

Or a colourful contemporary Caribbean garden with green, leafy exotics like banana and colourful flowers such as canna.

A dry riverbed made from pebbles can also look good as will a seaside garden with shingle and a beach hut, where spiky plants and extreme shapes contrast.

If you are planning on planting sun-loving cacti and succulents a minimalist desert island effect can work very well.
PatioSituating your hot spot
The sunniest spot is the only place for this type of feature. If you choose a part of the garden that only sees a few hours of direct sun a day, sun-loving plants won’t be happy there. Unless the plants are in sun all day, your hot spot will look like a disaster area.
It’s also much more practical to have your hot spot close to the house; you’ll make far more use of a sunny seating area, as it’s only a step away.

It’s also handy for the tap when containers need watering, convenient for the kitchen when you eat meals outdoors and things like cushions are more likely to get put away.
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6. Hot spot garden

Introduction
Hot spot design
Building terraces
Hot spot plants
Top ten plants
Terrace planting
Soil care
Herbs
Overwintering

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