Perk Up Your Garden For Spring

Perk Up Your Garden For Spring

It's official - Spring is here. How do I know? I've just driven past my local DIY store and seen racks of tempting boxes packed with bright little Spring flowers. Those little yellow and pink primroses and pansies - don't they just say (or squeak!) Spring. If you want to start enjoying your garden nice and early this year, these bedding plants are as good a place to start as any. But we've also asked our expert gardeners what else we can do to get the garden off to a quick start this year.

Start Fresh
I'm always a bit nervous of clearing out in case I pull up something good by mistake. But our gardeners recommend picking out the weeds and cleaning up as much as you can. They haven't managed to get really rooted in yet, so Spring is the time to get them. Just take care not to step on shoots or bulbs.

Do A Head Count!
It's been a cold winter, so it wouldn't be surprising if a few plants haven't made it. But don't be too hasty about ripping them out - plants that look dead may well spring back into life when the weather warms up. But, if they are gone, don't despair - gardening is always a learning process. And look on the bright side - now you have a new space to try something else out.

Give Them A Feed
Give shrubs and climbers some slow-release organic feed. Likewise, If you are preparing vegetable or flower beds, there's no reason not to fertilise and mulch your beds now. Starting early, means you can work the soil several times, so it is fine and beautifully prepared when you start planting,

Prune early shrubs
Spring is the perfect time to make sure that early blooming shrubs, like forsythia, are pruned. You can prune as soon as the tree is done blooming. You can also prune roses at this time of year.

Planting Ideas
You can go ahead and plant anything that can withstand the late frosts. Here's a couple of ideas from our experts on We associate rosemary plants with sunny Mediterranean counties. But while it can't handle freezing temperatures, it actually enjoy the brisk air of spring. It is an evergreen, after all. If you plant it in a pot, you can take it out to your patio now (or maybe in a couple of weeks) and bring it back inside during the Winter. Apparently, sweet peas prefer the cool days of Spring. Start some climbing up beside your door, to have their scent welcome you home.

Something To Munch On
Yes, I know that growing your own vegetables is uber fashionable right now, but even if you're not quite ready to plant a load of spuds and opions, you can get on the band wagon. Plant a nice spicy salad herb such as Red Frills Mustard from seed, sowing directly into a pot or in the prepared ground when it's warm enough to sit on. Sow now, and by summer you will have your own cut-and-come-again crop that will keep on growing as you harvest. These mustard leaves have a warm, peppery taste which does outclass the supermarket variety. And you can do this in a little garden too.

Mark Your Diary
Plan an inspiring garden day out. There's lot of garden events on around the country - I'll just mention two of the big ones for your diary. First up is the The Garden Festival at Hillsborough Castle from 21-23 May 2010. And later on in the year is our very own Bloom at The Phoenix Park, from 3-7 June 2010

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