It’s official; spring has finally sprung. The days are starting to get longer and the temperature a little warmer. Although it may be hard to believe if you step outside (even with a coat on), the glory days of BBQ's, paddling pools and relaxing outside in the garden well into the evening are nearly upon us.
Now, the more skilled gardener would have taken steps to prepare the garden for spring back in the autumn, however for the novice it’s time to start now! So, with these easy steps your post-apocalyptic gardens will once again be blossoming and looking finely preened in no time!
1. Weeding - Dust off the trowel and the gardening gloves, give your flower beds/borders/hanging baskets a once over and rid them of weeds. Pull them out at the root to avoid them reappearing in a few weeks!
2. Prepare the soil in your flower beds - Clean off the layer of dead leaves with a rake, if the soil is water logged its needs to be turned over well to give it a chance to dry out before any planting or sowing of seeds. If you don't already, start keeping your kitchen peelings to make compost - the plants will thank you later.
3. Add some colour - If the thought of looking at the bleak garden for any longer waiting for the seeds to sprout is making you feel miserable, it’s time to add some plants. Bright, happy colours will be sure to make you feel full of the joys of spring. Try pansies or violas as the trusted favourites.
4. Spruce up your lawn - If you want luscious green lawns for the summer you need to put the work in now. It’s worth getting rid of the twigs and leaves that have been blown in the garden for the past few months. If any patches are looking in need of some attention, rake it well and sprinkle with grass seed now. If there are big areas that need some work, mark them out with canes and protect with netting or the grass seeds you lovingly spread will be breakfast for the dawn chorus!
5. Scrub the decks (or patios) - If you have any decking or a patio in your garden it’s probably looking a bit sad at the moment. It’s worth getting your power washer out (or borrowing one from an obliging neighbour) to bring it back to its former glory.
6. Repair the damage - It's been incredibly windy recently and bushes, trees and fences have taken a battering. If any branches are hanging down or parts of your fences are falling, grab the tools and do the maintenance. A small bit here and there will make the difference and achieve an all-round neater look to your garden.
iStreet have partnered with Homebase who has a whole range of products and hints and tips for the perfect garden, and they are offering a 2.5% donation to charity. If your hand-me-down patio chairs have seen better days, order from B&Q's extensive range of "outdoor living" furniture and raise a 3% donation!
With so many other gardening retailers available, each offering great donations, there really isn't much of an excuse for a messy garden! I can almost smell the BBQ...