Is there a better feeling in the world than the first signs of spring?
We have been graced with the angelic blooms of snowdrops following the start of the new year and now, the sunshine yellow of daffodils and colourful tulips are welcoming us warmly into the Easter period. With the clocks jumping forward last weekend (hello longer evenings!) and the mornings slowly growing lighter too – spring is finally on its way.
While you may have managed a few updates around the home in preparation for the new season, the garden on the other hand, may not be looking its best! With the sun beginning its descent behind the clouds as early as 3pm in the afternoon, the temperature rarely rising above 5 degrees and the onslaught of that wind taking hold, tackling the garden and attempting to keep those winter weeds at bay becomes a little more tricky during winter.
But, as these bitterly cold months slowly come to an end, it’s time to get outside, brave the early spring forecasts and prepare the garden before those glorious (here’s hoping!) summer months arrive.
Whether you have a sprawling country garden, a small allotment down the road, an apartment balcony dotted with window boxes or a modest front garden, here are a few simple garden updates that can be made now, so you’re all ready to make the most of the spring sunshine to come.
Bulbs to plant now
A sure sign that spring is on its way. If you can’t help but admire your neighbour’s garden or the wild picture-postcard meadows that boast blankets of colourful flowers, buying and planting a variety of different bulbs now is a great way to ensure you create your own enviable display come summer.
While we know it’s difficult to get out and about to your local garden centre at the moment, you can still shop online – Sarah Raven and Waitrose Garden are both great for having your favourite plants and bulbs delivered to your door.
From crocuses in March and tulips throughout April to tall alliums and delphiniums from May/June, all of these perennial varieties are easy to grow and will come back year after year. February/March is the time to plant sweet pea seeds too – although an annual, the scent and display they provide really is worth it. A beautiful cut flower, they’ll fill endless vases in your home this summer with their sweet honey scent.
Potted plants for small spaces
Potted plants make an ideal and relatively easy alternative if you’re looking to fill a few gaps in your garden, spruce up your patio, make your front porch that little bit more welcoming, or if you’re not terribly green-fingered! From chives and rosemary to lavender and thyme, large pots will provide the perfect home for other perennials including narcissus, hydrangeas and tulips, too.
If you have an extra patch of garden spare, most vegetables are quick and easy to grow. From salad leaves and beetroot to potatoes and carrots, you could even diversify into a few fruit trees. Learning to grow your own fruit and vegetables, if you’re able, is a great creative project during this time – and a lovely way to get the kids into gardening too.
A lick of paint
For those living in a rented property or terraced house, you’ll know a pretty fence or garden gate can make the world of difference when it comes to the look and feel of your garden. While it may not be possible to take it down or replace it, there are a number of ways in which you can improve it.
Climbing flowers – from scented roses to star jasmine, clematis and wisteria – are perfect for hiding a multitude of sins and retaining a bit of privacy. Or, why not give your fence a simple lick of paint for a new lease of life too.
For making an entrance
It’s surprising the positive effect that painting your front door can make to your entrance or front garden. An easy job for the weekend – pot and plant flowers that complement your new colour choice for a transformation the whole street will admire.
need a little front door inspiration?
Opt for a subtle spring hue like Pink Ground, something neutral like Bone, or something bold like Railings for a colourful entrance guests will remember.
Attract nature into your garden
The sound of birds singing, bees buzzing and next door’s lawnmower are all welcoming sounds of spring. If you’re wanting to create a haven for wildlife in your own garden, there are a number of flowers that will help to attract them. From the really tall like sunflowers and the great climbers like honeysuckle, to the beautifully scented – thyme and lavender are ideal – and the nectar-rich like purple loosestrife and ice plant.
While you may enjoy sitting out in the garden with a glass of wine or a cup of coffee, the thought of weeding, potting and planting may not hold quite the same appeal, so why not bring the beautiful outdoors in with our nature-inspired accessories?