Although it is the time of year when our gardens are starting to wind down for Winter, I always remind myself that tomorrow’s garden is planted today. See my top five ways to get your garden ready for spring
Gardening is often an area of home-making that has the least budget, but there are so many ways to improve your garden right now, with even the most modest of spends. Here’s my top five ways for literally ‘planting the seeds’ for garden wow factor in Spring and Summer.
Plant spring bulbs
Not only are bulbs super easy to get hold of, but they are also very affordable and offer year on year investment. Plant in Autumn, before the frosts begin, and in early spring the first green sprouts will appear. The most affordable around are to be found at the main supermarkets, Asda are offering a large bag of mixed bulbs for just £2.50 in their large stores. Morrisons are offering a wide range of bulbs including Alliums, Tulips and many more, with prices starting at £2. Definitely worth a browse during the weekly shop, your garden will be flooded with gorgeous spring colour. Popped into borders, around trees or even load into planters for brightening up your patio to add instant beauty for years to come.
The thought of propagating anything has always filled me with terror, but encouraged by my obsession with Hydrangeas and Lavender, I decided to have a go last year. I wasn’t really sure what I was doing, but a well timed segment on a TV programme, showed me the light. I took eight Hydrangea cuttings from a local derelict house that was about to be redeveloped (I did have permission from the work crew) and set to work. Not only did all eight survive, but they have since been planted or gifted and half of them even bloomed this year. I also experimented with Lavender too and although the cuttings have not progressed as quickly as the Hydrangea, they too are all healthy and growing well.
Free plants are not to be sniffed at, if you end up with too many for your own garden (never!), you could give them away as gifts, sell them on or even take part in a plant swap.
Seeds themselves are a great way to reduce the cost of improving your garden and if you choose wisely, they are not too difficult to grow either. What I have found is that when growing from seed, I often have too many of a particular type of plant and sometimes the seeds are past their best if left to next year. One solution is that I get together with my friends and neighbours and we each grow one packet of seeds and then split our plants. It is such an easy way to add lots of variety to your garden for no more than the cost of one packet of seeds. I know that I will definitely be doing this again year after year. You could also do the same with any propagated plants too.
Explore the ‘dead and the dying’
You know that section at the back of the garden centre, the one with the less photogenic, end of season plants? I love that section. You will often find me loitering at the affectionately termed ‘Dead and Dying’ aisle of many an establishment, and it is here that you can pick up some real garden bargains. You do need to be selective, some of the green beauties in the section are definitely ‘DOA’ but others just need a good drink and a loving home. Aim for perennials and shrubs for value for money; you will be amazed at what you can pick up for as little as 80p. Now is great time to head there as many centres are clearing space for the Christmas trees. Go get your coat on.
Look after what you already have
Whether you have nothing more than a lawn, or like me, have a garden full of neglected and unknown plants. Figuring out what you have and how to care for it and improve it is something that will add wow factor to the simplest of gardes. If you have a lawn, learn how to feed and care for it for the lawn of dreams. Not sure what plants you have in your garden? Ask around and then learn about pruning and feeding that plant so that it becomes bigger and more beautiful next year.
I hope you feel as motivated as I do to get the garden ready for spring, looking healthier and more beautiful for the year ahead. Do you have any ips to share? Let me know in the comments section below.