At the moment there’s a lot of uncertainty about the next few months, but one thing we can always count on is that Spring will be here soon. We’re being told to isolate and put distance between us right now, so why not spend some time considering how to prepare your garden for when the warmer weather comes along?
Focusing on a spring full of colour and a summer of entertaining, holding barbecues and long, warm evenings can help you feel less anxious and will give you a good project to be getting on with. I’ve put together this guide to five things you can do to get your garden in top form for the best summer yet
Even the least green-fingered amongst us can delight in easy planting to produce a lush and colourful Spring garden, and it all starts by having a tidy up.
Have a general tidy up around the garden; clear borders and beds back to bare soil by removing debris and weeds from flower beds and borders. You can cut back any old dead growth of deciduous grasses and herbaceous perennials.
To better prepare the soil for new growth add a 5cm layer of organic matter like well-rotted manure, compost or recycled green waste to enrich your soil making it ready for the flowers, plants and shrubs you’re going to add to your garden.
Nothing is more welcoming in a garden than a well-manicured lawn. Now is the time to reclaim your green space. A beautiful lawn complements the rest of the garden and makes the whole garden look fantastic. A simple spring lawn care programme will give you a lawn to be proud of, keep it in perfect condition and make friends and neighbours green with envy!
Mow your lawn regularly – weekly or even more frequently as the weather warms. Be sure to use the correct mowing height is important to ensure prime lawn condition; cutter height should be in general: 2.5cm – 4cm, for trodden lawns: 5cm, and for shaded lawns: 7.5cm.
Feeding the right lawn food at the right time will give your grass a boost and will produce a lawn to boast about. A good feed with fertiliser will support thicker growth and will increase its strength, vigour and health so it is more robust and better equipped to compete with weeds. If you notice any thin patches in your lawn you can start re-sowing with a product which combines grass seed, coir and slow-release feed which will cover bare patches in no time at all.
One of the easiest ways to update a garden is to bring in some new furniture or to revitalise older furniture to make a lovely, comfortable space to relax or host a gathering when the weather has warmed up.
Restoring wooden furniture isn’t too tricky. First, give it a good clean down; remove all the dirt, dust and cobwebs that have built up over the winter with a stiff bristle brush and use soapy water to remove any lingering dirt. Apply oil to particularly sad-looking hardwood pieces to add protection and nourishment.
Last year I enjoyed upcycling an old wooden outdoor table and chair set which I cleaned up and then used Cuprinol’s Garden Furniture paint in the shade, Purple Pansy, to make a real stand out seating area where I hope to enjoy BBQs and cocktails with friends this Spring. Explore colourful paint options to make an eye-catching impact.
When I updated my outdoor furniture last year I also added some new lighting around the seating area to add some pizzazz. I chose some solar-powered LED string lights which I hung up along the fence and I also picked out some Moroccan style solar lanterns which I hung from up hooks in the brick wall of my home. I love the atmosphere the lights create!
As well as offering an atmosphere boost, adding lights to a garden provides other bonuses – carefully placed lights can guide the eye around the more decorative areas of your outside space, light up paths and of course ward off burglars.
You might consider combining both light and warmth with an outside heater that doubles as a light, a stylish and practical way of beating off those spring chills during the evenings.
I am a big animal lover and I particularly enjoy looking out into my garden and seeing wildlife such as birds, mice and squirrels wandering through looking for food or shelter. When you’re looking to prepare your garden for Spring don’t forget to make a little provision for our fabulous wildlife, a few small things can make a big positive impact.
Why not set up a bug hotel? Insects are very important for pollinating plants, keeping pest populations down and as primary or secondary decomposers. Pick a quiet spot and make a pile of rocks, bricks, logs, twigs and leaves – this will quickly become a home to all sorts of insects such as beetles and spiders.
I attract all manner of wildlife into my garden with my bird feeder. Although designed for birds the food also attracts squirrels and mice who enjoy picking up any seeds or nuts dropped by the birds. You can make your own bird table or find many options in garden centres or on the internet. Offer a variety of tasty morels to attract different types of birds. My feeder offers peanuts, mixed seeds, nigella seeds, suet balls and suet pellets. You can also offer live foods like mealworms which birds love!
Water is of top importance to all wildlife but you don’t have to have an expensive, large pond in your garden to attract water-loving species. It is possible to DIY a pond by simply digging a hole, lining it and filling with water (ideally rainwater) and add some plants. If you’d rather not dig up your garden you can simply add a water feature to your garden by filling any container, such as a shallow bucket or stone basin, with water. Top tip: a sloping side will allow creatures easy access and exit for creatures.
About the author: Micaela combines her love for all things digital and all things creative with a career in digital marketing alongside running her UK lifestyle blog Stylish London Living. Micaela has been blogging since 2012 and loves sharing new experiences, travels, products and her passions with her readers.