The evenings are getting lighter by the day and we have a new season on the horizon with a promise of brighter times ahead. It won’t be long until warmer weather means we can make the most of our outdoor space in comfort.
After a cold wet winter – where we saw heavy snowfall – your garden might not have been left looking its best. The experts at the UK’s leading garden centre, Dobbies, are here to help, sharing a list of the essential tasks to get your garden into shape this spring.
There are three million new gardeners in the UK according to research by Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) and a number of property experts have highlighted the benefits of smartening the exterior of your home to boost its value. Get set to furnish your garden to its fullest this season, starting with a good old-fashioned spring clean.
'Just like inside our homes, there’s a good reason why spring is a good time for a clean-up of the garden,' says Horticultural Director at Dobbies, Marcus Eyles. 'Wet and windy conditions mean your outside space will need some extra TLC. Remember that it’s really important to treat your garden with care and keep wildlife in mind when you start any kind of clearing. There’s plenty that can be done to prepare for the new season, but I like to think of it as a restoration project to refresh and nurture the space back to its best. A gentle clean sweep you can make a start on during the milder days and lighter evenings.”
1. Sort the garden shed
It’s time to tackle unkept sheds. Recycle old pots and go through garden hand and power tools to check if everything is in working order or if anything needs repairing or replacing. This will help you stay organised later in the season – no one wants to discover a broken lawnmower when you’re about to give the lawn its first cut!
2. Invest in clever storage
If you don’t have a garden shed, you may find that your garden can quickly look cluttered if used to store bikes, tools and muddy wellies amongst other household debris. If you have a small garden, then smart storage is essential. Look for benches that double up as storage boxes, outdoor boot racks, cushion boxes to keep garden furniture textiles dry in wet weather or a bin store with extra room to tuck away your garden toolbox.
3. Clean sweep
Sweep paths and walkways to remove fallen leaves and debris. Keeping lawns clear where possible will help to avoid dead patches. Brush or rake growth of evergreen grasses to remove dead foliage.
4. Tidy up flower beds and borders
Hoe borders to remove weeds, feeding them with fertiliser and applying a thick layer of mulch to retain moisture and help keep future weeds at bay. Now is the ideal time for planting new additions to your garden, roots establishing quickly as soils warm during the early spring.
5. Plan your perfect summer garden
Rather than waiting until the good weather is here and everyone has the same idea, get planning for what you need, or will need, now. You don’t need much outdoor space to create something special - pretty hanging baskets, windowsills and patio pots provide the perfect containers to fill any home with colour and interest. Find out which way your garden faces and how much sun it gets during the daytime, as this will impact the types of plants and flowers that will grow best. Gardening research can be great fun as there are amazing books, blogs and Instagram accounts out there for inspiration.
6. Prepare for al fresco dining
It might feel a long way off, but before we know it, we will be enjoying the fun of outdoor cooking and alfresco dining. If you’ve been home schooling or working from home at the kitchen table, having a separate outdoor dining space could add another area to unwind and relax. Give existing garden furniture a clean, making sure this is cleaned according to the guidelines for its material.
Outdoor furniture design has come a long way in recent years, with most collections looking just as good inside your home as they would out. Make the most of the new season launches as that’s when you’re likely to have the most choice. There is something for every size garden, foldable, stackable and easy to store away items. Updating your garden furniture is one of the quickest ways to transform a space
7. Don’t forget your indoor greenery
Houseplants need to be cleaned occasionally too – just wipe the leaves with a damp cloth. This is not just to keep them looking good, removing the dust ensures good health too. Take off any foliage that is yellowing and trim damaged leaves of larger plants with sharp scissors at the same time. Even the lowest maintenance plants require a repot – either annually or at least every two years – to keep them looking their best for years to come.
Find more tips at www.dobbies.com