It’s not just your house that needs a spring clean at this time of year – your garden does too! A quick tidy up will do wonders and it will raise your spirits at the same time, writes Sarah Squire of Squire’s Garden Centres.
March is the first real gardening month of the year, and sowing, planting and pruning are the words of the moment. So celebrate the lengthening days by heading outdoors and pampering your garden with a spring clean and a fresh new look.
Spring clean your patio
Remove dirt, grime and stains from your patio quickly and easily with products such as ‘Block Blitz’ or ‘Patio Black Spot Remover’.
Give your lawn its first cut of the year with the mower blades at their highest setting. Rake the lawn to get rid of winter debris and aerate badly drained areas with a hollow tined fork or aerator.
Welcome guests (and yourself!) this spring with a pot of flowers on the doorstep. Dainty violas and spring bulbs such as daffodils and tulips work perfectly and take just minutes to plant up. Choose colours that match your door and interior décor. Or make a statement at your front door by adding a couple of well-chosen containers with permanent planting such as clipped bay trees, box or even an olive tree.
Paper your walls with flowers
Decorate a dull wall or fence with a beautiful flowering quince such as the pale peach-flowered ‘Geisha Girl’ or scarlet ‘Knap Hill Scarlet’. These beauties bloom from March to May, and thrive in sun and moist, fertile soil. Or why not plant a climbing rose? My favourite for 2017 is rose of the year ‘Scent From Heaven’, a fitting name for this deliciously perfumed variety.
Select a range of spring flowers for your borders that will catch the eye and flower for a long period. Shade-loving hellebores are a great choice, with their elegant evergreen foliage and dainty nodding flowers. Try our new ‘Double Ellen’ with their colourful, spotted double blooms, or pretty ‘Ice ‘n’ Roses’, which come in rose pink, dark red or white. You could fill spaces at the front of a border with low growing roses such as the beautiful ‘Flower Carpet’ series, which come in shades to suit any planting scheme.
Get creative with colour
Be clever with colour. Place larger, brighter specimens close to where you will be viewing them, and use cooler more muted colours and plants with smaller leaves and flowers further away. This helps to give the impression that your garden is bigger than it is. Choose a colour theme for your borders or patio containers using cool, warm or hot colours to convey an elegant, romantic or party atmosphere in your garden.
Cool & elegant – Use a palette of crisp whites, cool blues and emerald greens for a clean, sophisticated and tranquil look. Try a selection of ferns, roses, hellebores, viburnums and deutzias for a cool colour combination.
Warm & romantic – Use baby pinks, soft mauves and purples, with a few white highlights to add a little sparkle. Try a combination of aquilegias, scabious, phlox, campanulas, scented pinks and honeysuckles.
Hot & passionate – Vibrant reds, zesty oranges and citrus-yellows will fire up any dull border or patio display. Mix them with blue or purple plants to temper the heat, or use them to add spots of bright colour among the more muted borders to lift the energy. My favourite fiery blooms include geums, osteospermums, primroses, tulips, forsythia and spider lilies.
To buy any of the plants listed visit one of Squires’s branches across Surrey or go to their website: squiresgardencentres.co.uk