You won't have missed the fact that spring is in the air. Time for a big spring clean. Not just inside, but also in your garden or on your balcony. Here are five tips to get your patio ready for spring.
Throw open the French doors, roll up your sleeves and take a deep breath. The garden season has arrived again! But before you can linger in soft golden rays of sunshine, you need to get your patio ready for spring.
Step 1: Tidying up creates space
Does your garden still contain annual plants from last year? Grab the garden waste bin and chuck out those geraniums and Mandevillas. Their time is done. Also remove dead leaves and weeds, and carefully hoe the soil between the plants a bit. That gives them room to breathe in fresh spring air.
Step 2: Pruning encourages blooming
March is an excellent month for pruning roses. Make sure that your secateurs are nice and sharp, and don’t be over-cautious. Pruning encourages new growth and flowering, so it’s in a good cause. You can cut roses back to about five centimetres above the soil. And while we’re at ground level: don’t forget to mow the grass. Pop some fertiliser on afterwards, and your lawn is ready for a new garden season.
Step 3: The big clean
Time to get the soap suds out. Clean empty pots, brush the garden paving and remove algae with a high-pressure spray or a brush and some vinegar. Also wipe a cloth over your balcony railing and garden furniture. No, don’t sit down on it yet. We're moving on to:
Step 4: Plant the spring
On the Continent they believe that you should really wait until after the Ice Saints days (in mid-May) before placing new plants in your garden, because a night frost may still threaten. Luckily there are some tough specimens that want to go outside right now. Violas for example, and primulas. Plant them in containers or straight into the soil, and give them a drink straightaway. Citrus trees can also be placed outdoors now. Later you can supplement the colour in your gardens with plants like the Balcony Plant for 2017, the hanging begonia.
Step 5: Worship the sun
It's time to put the mop, brush, trowel and hoe away and enjoy the results of your work. Worship the sun, and declare the garden season officially open. For more inspiration take a look at our Pinterest boards or have a browse in our plant guides (top right on this page). Tips? We'd love to hear them.