National Garden Week is here and it’s fallen at the same time as National Stress Awareness Month. Coincidentally, creating a beautiful garden & tending to plants can be a great way to switch off & relieve symptoms of stress. Whether it’s the influx of Vitamin D from natural sunlight, getting in touch with nature or simply spending a few hours of your day away from technology, there’s many reasons why getting in the garden can help you to combat the stresses of daily life. So let’s see what you can do in your garden this April…
Between frosty mornings, sunny afternoons and endless rainy days, April can be a tough time for your garden. Although the arrival of spring doesn’t always mean warm temperatures in the UK, you can still prepare your outdoor space for the warmer months by giving it a little care and attention.
If the unpredictable weather has taken its toll on your daffodils, it’s time to deadhead. Deadheading daffodils will help them to store energy ready for next year’s growth, and with a little care and attention they will bloom beautifully for many years. When the daffodils’ vibrant yellow colour starts to fade, cut the flower heads off and allow the foliage to turn yellow and die back. It’s important to only deadhead the flower as daffodils need their foliage to die back naturally in order for the energy to go back into the bulb.
Plant Summer Flowering Bulbs
Now the soil is starting to warm up it’s time to plant your summer flowering bulbs. From begonias to alliums and cannas, summer bulbs make beautiful cut flowers and are ideal for brightening up your garden as well as your home. When purchasing bulbs ensure they are dry and as fresh as possible, remembering that healthy bulbs will show no signs of damage and will feel firm to the touch.
When it comes to planting, summer bulbs generally prefer a sunny spot with free draining soil, however different types of bulbs require different soil so ensure you have the right environment for each individual bulb you are planting.
Protect From Frost
It’s easy to become caught out by frost and the unpredictable British spring weather can be damaging to your garden. To minimise damage, cover plants with horticultural fleece, bubble wrap or straw when frost is forecast and ensure tender plants are kept safely in a greenhouse if possible.
Tend the Lawn
Instead of simply mowing the lawn, April is the perfect time to show it some real care and attention. To ensure it grows healthily throughout the summer months, rake off loose thatch and moss, this will encourage growth, and make holes in the soil to help it aerate. After you’ve removed the thatch, moss and any weeds, top it with spring fertiliser to encourage a beautiful, healthy lawn.
Think About Vegetables
Ever thought about growing your very own vegetable patch? April is the perfect time to start. Sowing vegetable seeds in April will ensure you have a steady supply of vegetables through the summer months and even into autumn. Everyday favourites such as carrots, spinach, radishes, lettuces, beetroot and broccoli can be sown straight into the ground in April, or alternatively they can be sown into individual pots and planted at a later date.
Feed the Birds
Birds will be busy building their nests in April in preparation for laying their eggs. If you have a bird feeder ensure it is kept filled with the right kind of food: dried or live mealworms, sunflower seeds, pinhead oatmeal and flaked maize. Avoid seed mixtures that contain beans, dried rice or lentils as only large species of bird can eat these. You can also leave out natural nesting material to help with the nesting process, everyday waste items such as hair from a hairbrush, scraps of wool or pet hair are ideal.
The Joy of Doing Nothing
When appreciating your garden this April, don’t forget the unmistakable joy of doing nothing. Once the bulbs are planted and the lawn has been tended to, sit back and enjoy a moment’s peace in your own private paradise. And with the Fatboy Lamzac things are going to get a whole lot more comfortable. Inflating within moments using nothing but the air outside, this handy lounger will have you closing the laptop & heading for the great outdoors.