Getting the garden ready for summer can be a daunting task after a long winter and it can be hard to find the time or motivation to get out there and tackle it in one go. But as the weather warms up and the garden begins to come to life again, now is the time to start thinking about getting it sorted so that you can really enjoy being outdoors over the summer months.

Ann-Marie Powell

Ann-Marie Powell

When there’s so much to do, I find the best approach is to set yourself goals to keep you on track and use your time as productively as possible. It stops me jumping from one job to another, something I am prone to do when I see how much needs to be done! 

Each of us has a different reason for creating a garden and we don’t all have the time to spend hours outside every day. But whether you’ve got an hour, a day or a week to devote to it, there’s always something you can do that will make a difference.  I’ve teamed up with Homebase to run the Garden Goals campaign to show how you can transform your garden into the outdoor space you’ve always wanted in, no matter how much time or experience you have.  It’s all about making gardening a bit less daunting so you’re more likely to succeed.

Here are my top tips for all you lazy gardeners:

You don’t have to start from scratch. For a quick win, use ready-made herbs and plug plants and don’t forget to use long-flowering plants for blooms all summer long.

If you fancy growing vegetables, use raised beds as it will save you time spent digging.  You can build them using sleepers or scaffold boards or buy one ready-made

Remember, a few quick jobs can make a big difference. Start small, like deadheading your plants and you’ll have maximum growth all summer long. 

If you’re creating a patio garden from scratch, for a quick, straightforward solution use decking.  If you’ve already got a paved area that you don’t have time to improve a deck can be laid directly on top.

Don’t forget large pots require less watering and they can make a bigger impact in the garden too.

Use garden gadgets.  If you’re strapped for time and can’t water the plants on your patio everyday, consider using a micro irrigation systems for automatic watering. It can help keep your patio looking fabulous when you’re away on holiday too.

If you haven’t got time to mow the lawn, use a strimmer to make sure the edges are tidy.  It will give your garden a fabulous, neat look in minutes.

If you have an assortment of different pots in different materials and don’t want to create new one, use the same plant in all of them to give a more harmonious impression.

If you want to revamp your garden furniture this summer and are short on time, use spray paint for a quick, instant result that you’ll love.

Finally, there’s a very good reason not to be too tidy in the garden. Dead leaves, plant stems and other garden debris can provide all sorts of benefits for wildlife from hedgehogs that hibernate in dead leaves, to spiders and earwigs that live under dead plants.

For more of Ann-Marie’s hints and tips and to watch her short films to help you get your garden ready for the summer visit the Homebase Garden Goals web pages  www.homebase.co.uk/garden-goals


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