As we look towards the end of February and think about what more 2019 has to bring, it is inevitable that our thoughts will turn to preparing for spring and summer. It has been a pretty cold and long winter so far, with most of us seeing at least a dusting of snow at some point and let’s not get started on Storm Erik and the havoc that he caused at the beginning of the month!
Last year, we had a pretty decent summer, and as yet, we have no reason to think that this year will be any different. However, this is Great Britain, and the weather seems to make up its own mind as to what it wants to do, so who knows? Whatever the weather, at this time of year, we are starting to cast our minds ahead to enjoying it, and that means getting our gardens sorted.
Lots of us traditionally do a spring clean of our homes, and with the cleaning craze sweeping the nation at the moment, we can’t see that going anywhere anytime soon. How many of us do a proper spring clean of our garden as well though? This is the perfect time of year, in between rain showers and the odd frost that still might lurk, to get it in tip top shape to enjoy as soon as we get that first glimpse of warm sunshine.
Spruce Up Your Outdoor Dining Area
Take a leaf out of the Italian’s book, and create an al fresco dining space. There is no reason why you can’t wrap up warm and enjoy a hot drink out there all year round, but there is nothing more continental than enjoying an early morning espresso or an evening gin and tonic out at a little bistro table on the patio. If big family get-togethers are more your thing, a full-size outdoor dining table and barbecue might be something to think about. Lazy summer evenings, with the smell of good food cooking away and the sound of laughter and conversation, can be memories that last forever.
Tidy Up The Fences
Our fences are often the first thing in the garden to show signs of wear and tear after a long winter, particularly if you live somewhere battered by the elements. They can make even the most beautiful garden look tired and scruffy, so fix or replace any broken fence panels, pick up that paintbrush and smarten them up. Keep them neutral or add a pop of colour – the choice is yours!
Create an area for the kids
Children love being outside, so if you make a child-friendly and safe area for them to play in, you can sit back and relax. Tree stumps and railway sleepers make fun obstacle courses, and beanbags, parasols, cushions and bunting can create a cosy corner for them to chill out and read in the shade. Use outdoor chalkboard paint to create an area for them to express their creativity.
Clean Up The Flower Beds
Whether you choose to go for wild country garden or more structured and formal lines, spring is the time to sort out your flower beds. You will probably find that you need to rake through fallen leaves and other winter-related debris to get to the soil, and once you get to it, it will need turning over. Adding some compost or other organic matter can give it some extra nutrients and nourishment to see it through the new season. Clear off any unwanted pests and insects, and start getting those seeds in.
Install water butts and a compost heap
Make 2019 the year where your garden becomes more eco-friendly. Install a water butt in a quiet area of your garden to collect rainwater, ready to water the plants and lawn with come the dry summer months. You could also think about building a compost heap – the spring is the best time to do this, as any organic material that you put on there will break down much faster. Use it for weed and shrub clippings, dead leaves, uncooked vegetable trimmings and peels, tea bags and shredded paper. Cover it up with a tarpaulin for two or three months, and you will have a lovely pile of brown and crumbly compost, ready to fertilise your garden and encourage new life.
Start thinking about preparing your garden now and come the summer, you will have a lovely garden, perfect for the whole family to sit out in and enjoy.
How are you beginning to prepare your garden for Spring?