As a consequence of the coronavirus, a lot of people have suddenly got time to spend in their gardens and with springtime upon us there has never been a better time to learn and experiment. This blog is aimed at homeowners with smaller gardens or patios who are looking to add colour and joy into their gardens in these uncertain times.
But where do I start and what should I be doing in April?
Step One: Clean the decks and weeds
The first thing to do with any flower bed is to assess the state of your garden. Is it looking like a jungle or is it well kept? For the purposes of this blog, I’m going to assume it is more a jungle than looking like Highgrove.
Consequently, the first step is clean out any dead branches and leaves from the bed along with any weeds which tend to be build up quite fast at this time of year. Then it's time to tend to tackle the shrubs or perennials and you need to be fairly brutal. If the plant isn’t pulling its weight and not looking good, I would recommend removing and replacing it so you can achieve instant colour.
As it’s almost impossible to get rid of garden waste during lockdown, I would recommend putting as much as you can in your compost bin or storing the waste until the green waste centres are open again.
Step Two: Prune your plants
After removing the dead sections and leaves, the next stage is to give your shrubs and perennials a prune if they are getting out of control and leggy. You need to cut the shrub back into the shape you want and perennials may need to cutting back if they have grown too large.
Step Three: Buy new plants
It has been incredibly challenging to buy plants during the last few weeks as hardly any retailers have been open but I would recommend either buying online or going to B&Q which has now started to sell plants and compost. Other garden centres are going to be following suit soon otherwise they spring stock which will have to be put in landfill.
Step Four: Which plants should I buy?
If you are looking for instant impact to brighten up your garden quickly during lockdown, I would recommend buying evergreen shrubs or annuals such as violas and petunias which add colour and are easy to plant. You need to consider the ‘aspect’ of your garden, i.e. whether it has full sun, part shade or full shade when buying plants. For example, roses need lots of sun but hostas can tolerate shade as can some hydrangeas. If you are new gardening, it’s easy to check the labels on the plants for their best locations. Don’t forget to buy compost which adds nutrients to the soil as well as acting as a top dressing which gives a good clean finish.
Step Five: Planting them in
Dig a hole which is the same depth as the pot and remove the plant from the pot. Remember to massage the roots after having removed it as the plant may have been sitting in a pot for a long time and become pot bound.
Then plant it into the soil and back fill it with compost and add an extra layer of compost on top for a clean finish.
Once complete don’t forget to give them a good watering in.
Then hey presto you will have a lovely border and lots of colour to enjoy!
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