Published: 26 April 2024

The gardening year has been very slow to start. It’s been too cold and wet to do anything much. There has even been snow in some parts of the country as late as mid-April. Which has meant that it’s been really hard to get anything done. But with a glimmer of blue in the sky and the rain falling a little less heavily and frequently, it’s finally time to get your hands in the soil and your garden ready to grow.

8 Things to Do to get Your Spring Garden Glowing

Tidy up – carefully

If your garden is anything at all like ours, it is probably in need of a little TLC. And spring is a brilliant time to give your borders a spruce up. So, start by cutting back tender and summer-flowering shrubs, as well as any shrubs grown for winter interest. These can include winter flowering honeysuckle, cornus, dogwood, lavender, and hydrangeas, amongst others. Just remember to check all shrubs for bird nests before you start, as we’re well into nesting season. Once you’ve done that, you can turn your attention to weeding.

Feed, mulch, and dress

Summer may still feel like it’s months away, but now is the time to prepare your beds and borders for moisture retention and your plants for growth. Adding a good layer of mulch will not only suppress weeds, but will feed goodness back into the soil, and prevent undue evaporation in the hot weather. Adding some manure to your borders will also help to improve the soil. And  giving your plants a liquid feed will help to produce better blooms throughout the season.

Get planting

Because of the weather, many of us have been a little slow to start seeds, but it’s not too late. In fact, when it comes to seeds, you’re spoiled for choice. There is a whole host of edibles ready to sow now – salad, carrots, beans, peas, cucumber, courgette, squash. The list could go on, especially if you include herbs! And no end of annual flowers, from African daisies to zinnias! Some of our favourites are bread seed poppies and sunflowers because they both look amazing and are edible! Many summer bulbs and tubers, such as gladioli, dahlias, begonias and lilies will also produce flowers if planted now. And if you pop in some spuds this weekend, you’ve still plenty of time for them to grow a healthy crop.

Don’t forget to use planters

If you’re looking to add a little extra wow to your garden, planters can be a wonderful resource. Not only do pots add height and colour, but they can be mobile and easily updated, So, you can move your displays around to wherever they are needed. And you can easily update your colour scheme regularly.

Think about your compost

Compost can be really expensive to buy. Which feels like such a waste when you can make it so easily yourself. If you have the space for even a small compost bin, you can reduce your garden waste, make a great habitat for a whole range of insects, and save yourself a lot of money in the process.  

Add height

Too often in gardens, we look down. But a truly beautiful garden has many layers. So, if you don’t already have them, consider adding some tall shrubs, climbers, or even trees. When you add height, you not only add structure. You add depth and shade, creating a new landscape and a new microclimate.

Consider leaving your lawn

Although a crisply mown lawn can look lovely, it’s still very early in the season. And with the very wet start to spring, there aren’t a huge number of flowers around, meaning that many pollinators are going hungry. By leaving your lawn uncut – or at least leaving a few long patches of grass –until the end of May, you can fill the hungry gap for beneficial insects. It can also look beautiful.

Add some seating

When we talk about gardening, we think about the physical act. What we can do to make our outside spaces beautiful. But we should also think about what we can do to enjoy those spaces. And adding seating is one of the best possible options. Whether it’s a dining set, swing seat, recliner, or just some logs to perch on at convenient intervals. Having somewhere to sit and enjoy your hard work is invaluable. 

With the days getting longer, late spring is the perfect time to give your green fingers some exercise. So, if you have a garden, get out and enjoy it! And if you don’t, why not pop along to Holker Hall and enjoy ours?

Visit Holker Hall and gardens for spring gardening inspiration.