Ah, springtime – the birds are singing, flowers are blooming…and yet your garden is still showing the tell-tale signs of the winter wear and tear? Don’t worry – with just a few simple jobs you can quickly get your garden into perfect shape for summer.
Whether you’re a DIYer looking for your next outdoor project or trying to find ideas and inspiration for ensuring that your garden is ready for those summer BBQs and lazy Sunday sunbathing sessions, we’re here with some top tips on how to get the best out of your garden in the lead up to the summer.
If you’re looking to make your garden pop with colour this summer, now is the time to start thinking about visiting your local garden centre and planting some flowers. And, if you’re wondering where to plant, have you considered a raised sleeper bed?
A raised sleeper bed is a fantastic addition to any garden. Natural in appearance, they create the perfect growing environment for summer flowers. These beds not only provide a home for your summer plants but also add a touch of flair to your garden.
Despite what some think, these are really easy to build and a perfect spring garden project for anyone who loves a touch of outdoor DIY.
Sleepers come in a range of styles. If it’s a more rustic look you’re going for, why not used reclaimed tropical hardwood sleepers? Or if it’s a fresh, modern look, softwood sleepers are a superb choice, that can be left to weather naturally or painted a contemporary grey, striking black or a vintage country cottage white.
For quick and easy options, raised sleeper bed kits are a firm favourite. Or if you want more personalisation in choosing your sleeper bed shape and size, you can buy sleepers, weed membranes, Pro Hex head timber fixings and coach screws separately.
Once your raised sleeper bed is constructed, it’s time to get your garden smelling and looking fresh and floral. Fill your bed with colourful blossoms, creating a stunning arrangement that the bees and butterflies love.
For a colourful array, Petunias, Marigolds and Begonias are a popular choice. And if it’s a low-maintenance arrangement you’re going for, why not plant some wildflowers such as Poppies and Blue Cornflower?
Maybe you’re more into the evergreen look, in which case you can’t go wrong with some lush greenery with succulents. For something fragrant, you could consider lavender. And let’s not forget the veggies and fruits – a mini garden allotment is a great excuse to spend more time outdoors whilst getting your daily dose of fresh seasonal fruit and veg goodness through the summer.
Raised sleepers aren’t the only way to plant and arrange flowers in your garden. Trellis is a charming and creative way to make use of vertical space in your garden whilst adding a colourful and natural lift to your landscape design.
It’s a relatively budget-friendly option, and depending on your plant choice, can be a low-maintenance growing style. Wisteria, Clematis, Parthenocissus and Sweet Peas are all options to consider. Or if you’re keen to add more homegrown summer veggies to your plate this year, why not try using your trellis to grow runner beans?
Decking often gets a little neglected over the winter months. And it’s not surprising – not many use their deck during the cooler and wetter months. But in the summer, often a deck is the most used part of the garden.
Whether your deck is home to the outdoor dining table where burgers and beers are shared over spontaneous BBQs, or perhaps your trusty sun lounger where you top up your garden tan whilst getting into a good book, this summer, ensure your deck is looking its best.
If you already have a deck, now is the time to get outdoors and do those maintenance jobs you’ve been putting off.
The spring is the ideal season to give your deck a good sweep and jet wash clean, removing debris and slippery fungal build-up. A splash of decking treatment is also advised, as this will help to maintain the quality and durability of the timber. It’s also advised that you give your deck a good check-over. Look out for any loose screws or wobbly deck boards that have been forgotten about, and aim to replace any key components that have taken the brunt of the winter weather.
If your deck is beyond repair, the spring is a perfect time to replace your deck. It really is amazing how a fresh deck can transform a garden and breathe a new lease of life into the landscape design. Take time to consider which type of decking is best for you before choosing between hardwood and softwood decking.
And if you’re getting ready to install a deck yourself, here are some helpful hints and tips for your upcoming DIY spring decking project.
If your garden is looking cluttered, it’s time to dust the cobwebs away and get stuck into a good old-fashioned spring clean-up. Old outdoor toys, broken garden furniture and that redundant lawn mower that you will never get around to fixing need to go.
If you still need to find a home for garden ‘cluttering objects’, it may be time to turn your attention to what a shed could offer. Because sheds are available in a range of sizes, they are a really accommodating option for storing garden furniture, toys, equipment and tools. What’s more, sheds can double up as potting sheds, minibars and even outdoor studios if you have spare space and want more than just storage from your shed.
If you do already have a shed, have you checked how your roof felt is doing recently? Don’t forget that this key waterproofing element of a shed does need checking in on and replacing from time to time, and what better time to do it than in the spring?
Sheds aren’t the only way to get your garden organised. Bin covers are a great way to keep unsightly wheely bins out of the way from spoiling your beautiful garden scenery.
And, if you’re lucky enough to have your own woodburning fire or outdoor firepit, a log store not only creates the perfect environment for log seasoning but offers a great spot to organise your logs, ready for the summer nights around the fire pit and snuggly winter evenings later in the year.
Nothing says ‘eye-sore’ quite like a broken, leaning or paint-peeling fence. But actually, with a bit of time and thought, a little fence maintenance can go a long way in reviving a core garden component. Not only will you feel so much better about having a neater and safer garden boundary, but your neighbours will appreciate your efforts too.
Replace any broken posts, arris rails, panels or rotting feather edging for fresh new timber or concrete components. A splash of paint could also be a great way to give your fence a new lease of life, but be careful not to just cover up issues without repairing them.
If your fence is looking beyond repair, it may be time to start again by replacing your fence structure. Spring is a good time to do this as the ground is generally soft, but not soaking, the weather is nice and there are a fair few bank holidays to give yourself the time to prep and install the fence with a little neighbourly help.
The great thing about installing a new fence is that you can get into good practice of maintaining your fence from the offset.
You’ve also got a great deal of choice when it comes to finding a fence that works for your budget and landscaping ambitions.
Fence panels are generally better for those who are more time and budget conscious, and can be used with either timber, concrete or metal posts. If you are aiming for a traditional fence, closeboard is a superb option, but does require a little more time and planning.
And if you’re just not sure which fencing style to choose, we’ve produced a handy fence guide to help inform your decision.
Everyone’s favourite job – weeding… Yes, it’s boring, but quite often it’s a job at the top of gardeners’ and homeowners’ to-do lists in spring. Months of heavy rainfall, combined with the strong rays of the spring sun mean the weeds are back in their weediest of form! It’s time to get the garden gloves on and get rid of those pesky weeds.
But did you know that you can actually prevent future weed growth, without having to use harmful pesticides and herbicides, using a weed ground control? These are fantastic options if you hate weeding, have pets and generally want a lower-maintenance spring garden.
So where do you put a weed ground control? Under gravel paths, in raised beds and under decking are just a few ideas. Yes – it might seem a bit ‘faffy’ but trust us when we say this will save a lot of hard work come next spring and you’ll be one step closer to having a summer-ready garden.