Cheat’s spring clean

With Dair­muid Gavin

Star Courier (Surrey & Hants) - - FRONT PAGE -

AS your gar­den wakes from its win­ter slum­ber, you can feel over­whelmed by the tasks you need to carry out. But while not ev­ery­one has the time to do them all, whether it be work or fam­ily keep­ing life busy, we all de­serve a beau­ti­ful plot. And, of course, there’s a cheat’s guide to achiev­ing that.

So here are a few sim­ple tips that will al­low you to show off your Eden to its best, what­ever its state: Easy care plants Opt for easy- main­te­nance in­for­mal shrubs, such as hy­drangea, vibur­num, choisya, weigela, sar­co­cocca and clump form­ing bam­boos.

Shrubs can pro­vide in­ter­est through­out the year, with their flow­ers, scent, berries and fo­liage colour.

Avoid lots of dif­fer­ent peren­ni­als and roses which need ex­tra care and in­stead choose grasses and bulbs.

Use good- looking ground- cover plants, such as hardy gera­nium, pul­monaria, epimedium, brun­nera and pachysan­dra, which smother bare soil so weeds haven’t a chance. WEED WARS Dig up weeds be­fore they flower and set seed.

Use a fine grade of for­est bark to sup­press weed growth, pre­serve mois­ture around the roots of your plants and make things look neat and tidy in a flash. IN­STANT STARS Con­tainer- grown plants de­pend on you for wa­ter­ing and feed­ing so get them in the ground in­stead, where Mother Earth will pro­vide such ser­vices.

Grow plants that per­form in­stantly – species that be­gin to grow at a rapid pace as soon as they are bed­ded in the soil.

The per­fect ex­am­ples are sweet pea and nas­tur­tium, which will climb up a bam­boo wig­wam sup­port or race up a fence clad with some net­ting to pro­vide a grip.

They flower within weeks, bring­ing colour and scent to your plot. PAINT A WALL Use paint for an in­stant lift. Take in­spi­ra­tion from the cobalt blue of La Ma­jorelle in Morocco or warm up a wall with some Mex­i­can Pink. Use pots of colour, sin­gle hues or a clash­ing ca­coph­ony.

For a taste­ful ap­proach, try ranges from the likes of Far­row and Ball. For the DIY way, have your own ma­sonry paint matched to a favourite shade at a home im­prove­ment shop. AR­TI­FI­CIAL GRASS Take a prac­ti­cal view. If the lawn isn’t work­ing due to foot­ball games or is too much in the shade, dig it up. Or – even eas­ier – get some­one in to do it. Then have some ar­ti­fi­cial turf put down.

In­stalling ar­ti­fi­cial roll- out grass does re­quire the pro­fes­sion­als to en­sure your Wem­b­ley is level, has ad­e­quate drainage and re­mains weed- free.

But ar­ti­fi­cial turf is a re­ally sen­si­ble so­lu­tion to some dif­fi­cult ar­eas – or def­i­nite re­quire­ments for your out­door space. BRIGHT IDEAS Af­ter dark, you can hide a mul­ti­tude

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.