Are you one of the three million gardeners created during last year’s lockdown? Last September’s Horticultural Trades Association survey showed a big increase in gardening, and with the world not yet fully opened, chances are our love for gardens is going to roll on well into 2021.
With summer around the corner, now is the time for every garden owner to leap into action and get their outdoor spaces ready for relaxation and entertaining. Here are three steps you can take to get your garden ready.
Step one: cut back and tidy
After a long, long winter, chances are your trees, bushes, and shrubs are in a less-than-perfect shape. Trim them back if their branches appear scraggly or overgrown and remove any weeds from the soil so they won’t have any opportunity to establish themselves in time for summer growth.
Spread fertiliser or compost around the topsoil too. This will give your plants an extra boost as they start growing in spring, particularly if the plants are new additions to your garden. Once your flowerbeds are in fine fettle, give your grass a good mow, then remove any dandelions or other unwanted weeds from the turf, sowing grass seed in any patches this creates.
Step two: refresh with paint
After a frosty and wet winter, any painted furniture or surfaces in your garden will probably need a touch up, and even if they’re in good condition, now’s the time to consider new colours.
Plain old tins of oil and paint will work, but it’s a good idea to speed up your work with a can or two of spray paint. Whichever you choose, make sure to sand down the surface if there’s paint flaking away, and be sure to purchase enough so you can put on a few coats. That way, you’ll achieve a beautifully clean look and hopefully avoid the need to repaint next summer.
Step three: be barbecue-ready
A summer 2020 survey indicated that more than half of people in the UK enjoyed a barbecue as lockdown eased, with one in ten enjoying six or seven grill sessions per month. That might be a little excessive, but if you’re a committed flame-tamer, now is the time to get your garden’s barbecue area up to standard.
For pared-back purists, that could mean making a nice nook for your kettle barbecue at the end of your garden so guests on your patio don’t get smoked out. Or you could go all-in, constructing a bricks-and-mortar marvel that combines multiple grills, a chimney, food prep areas and a built-in fridge. Your better half might need some convincing, but at least you have our permission to go with the latter!
Get your garden in order and start enjoying it with friends and family the moment the sun starts peeking.