It’s time to get prepared: grab your rake, shovel, gardening gloves and inspiration and let’s head outside.
Prepare your spring planting.
It’s a satisfying feeling to get out there and start by clearing out your flowerbeds – from old leaves to debris and weeds, clear early and often to allow your plants to grow healthy for summer.
- Annuals won’t be returning so they can be removed.
- When it comes to your perennials, as soon as you see new growth at ground level remove the brown leaves. Spring is also the best time to divide and transplant them.
- Take a close look at the crowns of your perennial plants and see if you can find evidence of slugs, snails and aphid colonies as they will have been sheltering there for the winter.
- You will also want to prune any woody perennials and ornamental grasses you may have as this can only be done in spring.
- Give young trees, shrubs and roses extra support from bamboo stakes.
- Repot your potted plants for a new lease of life.
- Break up your winter-impacted soil, even if only via a rake or hoe – your plants need a little wiggle room to grow.
- Mix fertilizer deep into your soil by rotating the soil, this gives nutrients to your plant’s roots – you could also make your own compost and use this instead.
- Edge your garden beds for a clean and polished look. This will also prevent your lawn from crawling into your borders.
- Rake, feed and aerate the lawn and sow grass seed now where necessary.
Ideas for a small garden or balcony
Tiny gardeners – we haven’t forgotten you! Whether it’s a balcony, small courtyard, petite garden, there are so many ways to make the most of to make your garden feel like a comfortable extension of your home.
Here are some of our favourite ideas:
- Add a vase of flowers to your garden table. We tend to take vases indoors, but they look lovely positioned outside – whether you’ve picked flowers from your own garden or bought a bunch of your favourite colours. Display near a citronella candle to keep the insects away as the weather warms ups!
- Trying a green garden wall – whether you grow salad or florals out of wall pockets, or even use moss-like artificial greenery for your vertical installation is up to you!
- Reuse an old mirror – attach it in a position that reflects colour and light around your outdoor seating space.
- Use fairy lights – if you don’t have space for a fire pit, a small strand of outdoor lights can go a long way in cosying up your evenings.
- Use old plates from a charity shop as ‘dish flowers’. Buy floral or paint yourself! There are plenty of examples on Pinterest to inspire your imagination.
- There’s more to a garden ornament than a traditional gnome, from local artisan ornaments to the budget-conscious DIY craft option. Make your own rock caterpillar or pot rocks, for example, it’s as easy as it looks!
Bring the inside out!
Stay toasty with a fire pit.
Fire features remain popular and are available in a range of price points these days. Great for entertaining, they seem to make the summer evenings last longer! Make a modern statement with a fire pit, or go more traditional with a chiminea.
Unless you live in an area with specific bylaws preventing fires, householders are generally free to have barbeques and firepits on their own properties, even in Smoke Control Areas in most cases. Please do be careful, keep children and animals away, and never use accelerants.
Use soft furnishings outdoors.
If you have garden furniture update your pillows in summery hues and add throws so you can sit outside for longer in the evening. Outdoor rugs have grown in popularity, with prices starting as low as £15 to brighten up a decking and give that soft under-foot feel.
Make sure you pick one specifically designed for outdoor use – often made of polypropylene to ensure its water, stain, mould and UV resistant! Many outdoor rugs are also made of recycled materials!
Consider a garden room.
When it comes to garden rooms most of you will probably imagine them to be an expensive, luxury purchase. However, while bespoke builds are more expensive, there are now plenty of DIY kits available online which you can decorate to suit your budget.
The cheapest garden room option you could opt for is a garden shed, with many shapes and designs available. It may not be as glam as a £20,000 garden office or studio, but you can get really well-made ones for less which could be used as an office, a gym, reading nook or hobby room – again, take a look at Pinterest for inspiration. The only thing to note here is that the wood on sheds is not treated so you would need to do this yourself either with paint or varnish. If you can do the work yourself, you could end up with a great budget garden room.
If you are wanting to use your garden room all year round, in colder temperatures, you will need to insulate it. You may also need electrics – we’d recommend speaking to an electrician if you intend to have heating, hot tubs, televisions and so on in it. Importantly, you will need locks for security.
Don’t forget to treat your wooden structures, and fix fences, gates and trellis – and ensure your garden is secure! As reported by idealhome.co.uk, 9 in 10 household thefts occur in the garden – and that amounts to a whopping 600,000 thefts a year!