The jobs you need to do now to be ready for lazy days
It’s not just your house that could do with a good going over at this time of year, writes Robyn Willis
If you were hoping to have your garden remodelled before the end of the year, you may have missed the boat. But that doesn’t mean you have to throw up your hands in despair if it’s looking a little shabby right now.
Just as spring is the ideal time to give the indoors a once over, it’s also an opportunity to get stuck into the garden before it’s too hot — or you’ve grown too lazy to care.
Director of Secret Gardens of Sydney, Matt Cantwell says there are plenty of spring cleaning jobs that will make a real difference to the garden come party season.
Hopefully, you’ve already done a hard prune at the end of winter but you’ll probably notice that your shrubs have put on new growth. Matt says it’s time to make some cuts. “Do a bit of tip pruning to give the plant a bit more structure,” he says.
Deciduous trees often lay on thicker growth at this time of year so Matt suggests thinning out the canopy too.
“If your plants or the lawn are not thriving underneath or the paving looks a bit mouldy, the reason might be not enough light,” he says. “You don’t need to take much off but it does make a difference.”
Gone to pot
It might feel a bit like cheating but Matt says that if you have a pot plant that’s struggling, chuck it out and start again.
“It’s an easy way to adopt some of the current trends with an architectural or a flowering plant,” he says. The same goes for bare patches of lawn. “I used to nurse a part of my lawn back to health every season,” he says. “Now I just replace it every August and I have a nice lawn for four or five months.
“You can plug away at it or just get a turf roll out like a new piece of carpet.”
Clean up your act
Nothing says unloved like dirty or mouldy pavers or decking.
Depending on the surface, Matt says you could use a high pressure water cleaner or something like 30 Seconds Outdoor Cleaner, which removes mould and mildew from most surfaces in minutes.
“It can save you a lot of time,” Matt says.
Go towards the light
If you have outdoor lights, check that they’re all working. If not, set the scene for a little alfresco dining with some fairy lights, hurricane lamps and lanterns.
After making the effort to get the garden into reasonable shape, Matt says you should take the time to enjoy it.
“I can make even a small scrappy garden look nice in an afternoon,” he says.
“Take the table outside, put up some lights and dress the table with some soft furnishings and cushions,” he says.
This casual setting, including Bremer dining table and Ida armchairs from Eco Outdoor is light enough to take outside for a casual alfresco lunch.