Ready, Steady, Garden!!!! Forget Christmas or Halloween, Valentines or Easter, the most hotly contested day of the year arrived this week. Yep, the day when it is warm enough to sit outside without having to wear your entire wardrobe and proclaim to anyone who wants to listen “Blimey, Spring has turned up with a bang!” finally happened this week and it’s set to stay for the foreseeable. Isn’t it glorious?
So, with that in mind, I guess we’ll be turning to our gardens and wondering where to start? The plants are starting to wake from their winter slumber, our wooden furniture is looking a bit tired and worn down and our lawns have seen better days.
In fact, we don’t even have a back garden at the moment. It currently resembles a building site from when we extended and renovated our home, so I now have a complete blank canvas to work with and I’m really excited to get started with it this Spring!
Even though I am about as green fingered as a Polar Bear wearing boxing gloves, my gardening and garden idea blogs always attract a lot of traffic so I thought I would help you on your way to getting your garden ready for the Spring/Summer
I think we have all used our garden a lot more in the past 2 years and we now understand how we can use it to it’s best ability. Gardens really are an extension of our homes and if you plan it right, there can be no better place to sit with a glass of wine after a long day.
I really believe you have to live with your garden for a few years to work out how the layout will best work for you. You can then figure out where the sun appears in your garden to either provide a shade in the form of a pergola or put your sun loungers there.
By zoning your garden to work out where best to put your seating area, shed, lawn and perhaps a hot tub, you can really make the most out of your garden.
A big garden trend in recent years has been the outdoor kitchen and something we will definitely look at doing in our new garden. If you are a fan of BBQs and having friends and families over for a get together in your garden, outdoor kitchens are the perfect setup! With a bit of planning, you can include a BBQ, shelving to hold all the food and plates and even a kitchen sink!
Garden accessory must haves
If this summer is going to be anything like the last 2 years, garden accessories such as festoon lights, sofas and dining sets are going to be in HUGE demand. Now is the time to start planning how best to use your garden and buy what you need.
Here are some of my favourite garden accessories to really turn your outdoor space into the perfect place to relax –
Tidy up your lawn
If you’re anything like us, our lawn (we also have a front garden with a nice little lawn, although it’s been used as a dumping ground for the last 6 months!) has not seen any action since August 2021. It now resembles a hot mess of grass, weeds and some random Snowdrops that have made their way over on the back of a bee I can only presume!
Our first job is to tidy it by giving it a good cut and tidy around the edges. But not too much! I still like a lawn to look a little unkept as it helps attract wildlife and can help provide shelter.
Add a wildflower meadow
If you want to go one step further with your lawn, how about adding a wildflower meadow? You could section off part of your lawn to create a little meadow that can be planted in March/April or let your border become wild!
Make sure you prepare the earth first by removing all trace of weeds, ensure the ground isn’t too waterlogged, dig up the top layer of soil and rake. The RHS has more information.
Prune back your bushes
If you haven’t done so already! I made the mistake of not pruning back our hydrangeas last autumn and they’ve now seen better days. I don’t think some of them will even make an appearance this year!
I think it is really important to dead head your flowers and plants and prune your bushes to encourage new growth and to keep your garden looking tidy.
Give your patio or decking a bit of love.
We’ve had a lot of storms and bad weather over the winter so I’m sure your patio or decking area is looking a little rough around the edges.
If you have a paved patio or wooden deck, the best thing to do is to give it a pressure wash! This will help lift the dirt, mold, stains and mildew from the last 8 months and will have it looking new!
If you feel that your decking has had a winter or pressure wash too many, then maybe look at painting it. There are so many different colours of decking paint in the shops these days, it is a brilliant way to brighten up your garden for very little cost.
Paint tired looking furniture
If in doubt, paint it! That’s my motto anyway. A bit like painting your decking, if you feel like your garden furniture has literally been washed away with the winter, you can add some colour to your chairs and tables.
We have some lovely Adirondack chairs from Wayfair that have been sitting on our balcony for a year and as it is south facing, they have been at the mercy of the sun! They are now a much paler version of their original selves so I am looking at painting them either dark blue or black.
Repair and reuse
If you’ve got the garden paint out, how about giving some of your tired plant pots a new lease of life. You can paint them the same colour as your garden furniture to make it all feel cohesive, or maybe paint them different colours so that they really pop in the garden.
Get your garden pots and planters ready
You’ve repaired and painted your plant pots, it’s now time to start planting your summer bulbs in them (if you haven’t got plants in them already!)
If you fancy creating your own vegetable patch (or putting them in your pots), have a look at planting lettuce, swiss chard and spring onions.
Clean out your shed/greenhouse
Finally, if you can face it, look at cleaning out your shed or greenhouse! Do you really need all the crap that has been sat in your shed since autumn? I bet if you went out there, you would find an old paddling pool with a hole in it that you’ve been meaning to repair since 2016. Or maybe a dozen old plastic plant pots that have seen better days.
Sheds have seen a huge revival in recent years with a lot of people turning them into extra places to sit, work and play. With a little bit of organisation and some ruthless throwing out (recycle where you can!), you could also turn your shed into a little sanctuary away from the mess and chaos of home
The one thing that we’re looking to do in our garden is put in an outdoor room/shed which will have several uses.
Eventually, it will become my studio space but will double up as a small potting shed and a place the kids can chill out with their friends. But that’s a project for another day!
I hope you all enjoy the sunshine that is forecast for the rest of the week and you can get out and enjoy your garden at last!