It’s National Gardening Week and it's time to celebrate by donning your gardening gloves and getting out into the fresh air. So how can you give your garden a boost this April? To start you off, here are our top five suggestions...
1. Check out your neighbours’ gardens
If you’re not sure how to improve the look of your garden, the best way to find inspiration is to snoop around someone else’s plot. Just check out the National Garden Scheme’s website or buy the Yellow Book, to find a selection of gardens open in your area. And look out for those by Society of Garden Design members for top-quality designs, such as this gorgeous urban garden by Ana Sanchez-Martin in London. Most also offer scrummy tea and cakes, or a glass of wine, and the proceeds go to charity.
2. Sow a few seeds
This is the best time to sow seeds, and they offer great value; you’ll get loads of blooms or fresh veg from every packet. Don’t be put off if you’ve never done it before - all you need is a seed tray, compost and a packet of seeds, then just follow the instructions on the pack. Go for those that germinate quickly, like cosmos and zinnias, or some beans if you want to eat what you sow. All are a bit tender so keep them snug indoors on a windowsill till the frosts are over next month. And if you’re quick, you can also apply for some free wildlife plant seeds from the National Gardening Week website, but get in there before Friday to secure yours. When they arrive, sprinkle them over the soil surface in a sunny spot in the garden.
3. Design one new feature
You could update a seating area, with some brand new furniture from ACHICA, or put up a rose arch and plant it up with clematis and roses for a blooming summer feature. Alternatively, if you only have a few minutes to spare, simply pot up a few spring bulbs and violas to decorate a dreary patio.
4. Feed your plants
April is the perfect time to feed the soil in existing beds and borders to perk up your plants and guarantee a great display over the coming months. Sprinkle some all-purpose granular fertilizer, such as Fish, blood and bone, or Growmore, around shrubs, trees and emerging perennials (avoiding any leafy growth), and gently fork it into the top layers of soil. Then, add a 5cm (2in) layer of well-rotted manure or garden compost over the soil surface to form a mulch. This will lock in moisture and gradually rot down to feed your plants throughout the growing season.
5. Clean up floors and walls
Hose down your patio or deck – it’s surprising how a clean surface can brighten up the whole garden. A pressure hose is a great bit of kit for sprucing up paving, while decks will benefit from an application of deck wood oil to enhance their colour. Also give tatty fences a facelift with a coat of wood stain – the colours in Cuprinol’s range, such as this pretty soft yellow called Buttercup Blast are lovely and you’re bound to find something that matches your garden style to a tee.
For more garden inspiration including furniture and tools, shop at ACHICA
For beautiful furniture, accessories and daily design ideas for your home and lifestyle,
shop at ACHICA.
Zia Allaway, Garden Expert
View all posts by Zia Allaway, Garden Expert