One of the best things about winter is that we can start looking forward to spring, which really is just around the corner. It gives you something to hold onto during the worst of those cold, wet months because, for the gardener, spring is the most exciting time of the year. So what better time to start thinking about how you will bring out the best in your garden this year?
Grab Some Instant Colour
The best way to banish the winter blues and give your garden an instant lift is to introduce a variety of colourful bedding plants sourced from your local garden centre or, even better, from seed grown in your own greenhouse or conservatory.
So hose down those pots, tubs and hanging baskets, fill them with compost and get planting. The transformation of your garden will be instant and, with careful planning of the varieties you use, you will have colour and greenery throughout the spring.
A handy tip for extra colour is to top-off the compost in your larger tubs with a layer of colourful fine stone chippings. As an added bonus, this will suppress the weeds too.
Build a Rockery
Whether it is at the front of your house to be admired by visitors, or in the back garden to be enjoyed as you sit in your conservatory or on the patio, a rockery provides your garden with a stunning feature. With careful planning of the plants you use and an imaginative selection of the size and colour of the rocks and chippings you utilise, your rock garden can give you colour and visual enjoyment every month of the year.
The site you choose for your rockery should enjoy full or partial sun and it should preferably be on a gentle slope. Make a rough sketch of how you want your rock garden to look, and then start to assemble it with the larger rocks first followed by the stone chippings. Planting pockets can then be created between the rocks and chippings using a mix of sharp sand and compost. Finally add the plants; a mix of alpines, rock plants and wild herbs works best.
Vegetables From Raised Beds
Growing your own fruit and vegetables is fun, gives you plenty of outdoor exercise and provides you and your family with lots of tasty, healthy produce.
The easiest way to raise vegetables in your garden is to construct some raised beds. Raised beds are much easier to tend than a traditional plot and they make weeding and watering very simple. It also means you avoid the problem of compacting your precious garden soil by walking on it.
The length of each raised bed and the number you build depends on the size of your garden, but the optimum width for ease of access is about a metre. A variety of building materials can be used, but railway sleepers or scaffolding boards are particularly easy to work with and provide a pleasing rustic finish. They can also be painted in a shade to suit the look of your garden.
As a finishing touch, fill in the area between your raised beds with stone chippings. This will not just look good, but will improve access and enhance drainage.
Sarah writes for Qeedle a business blog in the UK.