You won't have missed the fact that spring is in the air, which means it's time for a big spring clean — in your garden and on the balcony, as well as inside. Here are five tips to get your outdoor spaces ready for spring.
Step 1: Tidying up creates space
Does your garden still contain annuals from last year? Tidy up bedraggled geraniums and Mandevillas by composting or recycling. Sadly, their time is done. Now's also the time to remove dead leaves and weeds, and carefully hoe the soil between the plants a bit. It gives them room to breathe in fresh spring air.
Step 2: Pruning for 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 the haircut's all for a good cause. You can cut roses back to just five centimetres above the soil. And while we’re at ground level, don’t forget to mow the grass. Feed with fertiliser, and your lawn is ready for a new garden season.
Step 3: The big clean
Time to get the soap out. Clean empty pots, brush garden paving and remove algae with a high-pressure spray or a coarse brush and some vinegar. Wipe a cloth over your balcony railing and garden furniture, ready for spring and summer party guests.
Step 4: Plant the spring
In Germany and the Netherlands, it's traditional to wait until after mid-May before placing new plants in your garden, to avoid potentially damaging night frosts. Luckily there are some tough specimens that will be happy outside already, like violas 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 garden with plants like the hanging begonia.
Step 5: Worship the sun
Put the mop, brush and trowel away and enjoy the results of your work. Enjoy the sunny days, and reacquaint yourself with your garden. 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.