Spruce Up Your Gardens

Give your garden a springtime spruce up

Spring is here and summer is just around the corner. With longer daylight hours, warmer days with more sunshine and the winter blues long gone, our thoughts turn to the garden.

A large, lawned garden is a luxury in London and for most of us it’s just a patio, terrace, balcony or even a window box. Even if this is the case make the most of what you’ve got. Big isn’t always beautiful in botanical terms!

Below are some tips on how to get summer-ready and look forward to sunny days with a book and a chilled drink in your own outside paradise.

A garden revamp doesn’t have to involve professionals, just a few weekends of hard work. There is plenty of advice online and a trip to your local garden centre is a must. It will give you ideas, a chance to see the flora available, plus you will benefit from the local knowledge of staff there.

The make-over will also lift your spirits and increase your home’s appeal to guests during the valuable spring and summer months, winning you 5 star reviews along the way.

Current garden trends favour an eco-friendly approach. Seek out products like environmentally-friendly wood-based compost, and plants that encourage pollination and are drought-tolerant. There is also a move back to cottage or working gardens, those with an informal vibe where flowers co-exist with food and herbs. Also start collecting rain for watering.

First things first

Have a general tidy-up: remove leaves and general debris from lawns, paving, flower beds and borders. Cut back the old dead growth in plants, trees and shrubs. Remove weeds, prune branches on trees and power wash paving making sure to remove moss and weeds from in between the slabs.

Mow the lawn, weed and feed it. Neaten up the edges using either a trimmer, or grab some large garden scissors for small areas.

Get planting

When the tidy-up is done, it’s time to get planting and transform the space, big or small, into a riot of colour and scent. If you’re a bit late with planting from seed or cuttings, your local garden centre should have plenty of other options.

For a flowering plant that always makes a statement, try a hydrangea. Pansies are always bright and cheerful, good value for money, and can be used anywhere. Primulas, geraniums violas, peonies, allium are all great colourful choices. Look for flowers with different heights and opt for overhanging foliage to add interest in tubs. Heather and lavender are a beautiful addition to spring gardens. Lupins also offer a vibrant bloom.

Some plants are best in borders, others in pots or hanging baskets so always best to check. Remember hanging baskets, along with window boxes, are ideal in limited spaces and add kerb-appeal to the front of your home.

Glam up the garden

One way to glam up your garden is to rig up some outdoor fairy lights for instant ambience! There are lots of solar powered lamps, lanterns and lights available so you don’t have to worry about power cables.

Splash out on brightly-coloured pots to give a Mediterranean feel or paint a feature wall or fence - neutral shades are good or go bold with blue or orange for that Moroccan look.

Create an entertaining space with tables and chairs for al-fresco dining and zone it with an outdoor rug - it’s also a way to disguise discoloured paving or decking. Don’t forget a parasol, eating in blazing sunshine isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

Hammocks are a great feature and perfect for an afternoon siesta or try a sun lounger for a spot of sunbathing. A bench in a shady corner is also good and means that, Wi-Fi permitting, you can work in the great outdoors.

Just as inside, it’s important to keep outside clutter-free. Do this by investing in a wooden chest for tools and paint that in an interesting colour too. If you have space get a small garden shed, useful for the lawnmower and wind-up hose.

Remember outside space is a valuable asset in the rentals market and gardening is not only good physical exercise but great for mental health too.