10 brilliant ways to get your garden looking spectacular for summer

10 brilliant ways to get your garden looking spectacular for summer

This Morning’s weather expert, Dave King, recently predicted a wet and rainy summer, explaining that the ash trees had leaves on them when the oak trees hadn’t. While the old saying he was referring to may have depressed many hoping for a sunny summer, he also predicted periods of intense heat.

But as the government’s lockdown continues to ease, gatherings in gardens (subject to regulations) look likely to be allowed. This means your garden could soon become a key meeting point for family and friends.

So, as we enter spring, how can you ensure your garden is looking its best when the warm weather arrives? Read on to discover 10 top tips on getting your garden summer ready.

1. Spring clean your garden and get your soil fit for planting

Your first job is to start by removing any dead foliage, such as leaves on the ground or plants that didn’t survive winter.

Tidy up flower borders and “turn over” – or cultivate – your soil using a rake or spade, which loosens it up making it easier to grow your much-anticipated flowers.

2. Weeding is essential for success

While weeding is probably the most boring job when it comes to gardening, it’s essential if you want your garden prepared for the summer. So, weed your flowerbeds, lawn, and between cracks in your decking or paving slabs.

Using weed killer from a gardening store will keep them at bay through the warmer months. As well as weeding, remove pests like slugs, as they can decimate gardens. You could buy slug repellent, but simply sprinkling crushed coffee beans among flowers can be extremely effective in driving slugs away.

3. Trimmed hedges take your garden to another level

Your garden will now start to look neat and tidy, so move on to the bushes or hedges. Before trimming the hedges with a trimmer or garden shears, make sure you strip out loose twigs or rubbish.

This will provide an added level of neatness that will make your garden more inviting for friends and family.

4. Paint and treat your fences

Winter can be harsh on fencing, so freshen yours up for summer using wood treatment. This will not only make it look fresher; it provides fencing with extra protection on hot days.

5. Plant flowers to add colour to your garden

Nothing is as welcoming for visitors as bright blooms of flowers. To ensure they are in bloom at the right time, plant your flowers in the spring – which means buying seeds and plants as soon as possible!

To plant them, dig a small hole in your garden, then cover the seeds with soil, and water regularly – even if it rains. Watering is key to ensuring your plants grow in time for summer. Using pots of flowers on paved areas or around walls adds brightness, especially if you add coloured garden ornaments too.

6. A loved lawn always impresses

A neatly mown and maintained lawn is central to most gardens, and five ways to ensure this are:

  • Re-sow any poor patches
  • Aerate it to encourage root growth
  • Scratch it with a wire rake to allow light and water to reach the soil
  • Don’t mow grass to below a centimetre in height as it makes it look less healthy
  • Remove Trifolium repens, which is a white-flowering clover and the most common grassweed.

7. Bring your patio, decking and garden furniture back to life

Decking and patios often grow dirty over time, especially after winter. Clean them with a jet washer to remove dirt and your garden will instantly look fresher.

Treat the decked area with varnish or paint to maintain it and use patio sealant to make the area water-resistant and prevent the growth of weeds.

Clean your garden furniture using a hose and cloth to remove dirt and bring it back to life. Alternatively, you may decide you want to invest in an outdoor sofa or chairs, making outdoor get-togethers a more relaxed affair.

8. Light up your garden

Use lighting to make your garden as welcoming as possible. It does not have to be expensive or extravagant and can have a big impact.

Also, use trellis, climbing plants, hedges, or taller trees to create areas of privacy that add to the outdoor “homely” feel.

9. Protect guests from the elements

We all know the British weather is unpredictable, so ensure you have an area that guests can retreat to if the weather becomes uncomfortably hot or wet. You could do this by building a small pergola or buying a large umbrella; both will provide a comfortable area for yourself and your guests.

For those chillier evenings, invest in an outdoor fire pit or chiminea to provide warmth.

10. Invite wildlife into your garden too

Why not attract wildlife to your garden using bird seeds, nuts, or fat balls on a bird table? Attracting birds will also attract other wildlife like squirrels or hedgehogs.

The Wildlife Trust encourages those with a garden to create holes and access points for hedgehogs to move between gardens to create a network of green spaces. For more information, visit their How to Create a Hedgehog Hole site and follow the instructions.