It’s a gardener’s biggest pleasure to see the garden come to life after winter. The early highlights are spring bulbs such as daffodils, crocuses and tulips emerging from the ground under spring blossom trees such as cherries or alongside early flowering shrubs such as magnolias, camelias and rhododendron.
Plant new roses, trees, shrubs and perennials whilst the ground is still moist and a full range of young plants are available at the garden centre.
Spring is also the time to get ahead in the garden before the weeds start growing. Tidy borders, weed and mulch with compost or manure. Feed specimen trees, roses, shrubs and hedge and established beds and borders, with a general purpose organic fertilizer.
This is the time to sow seeds, indoors and outside, Sow hardy annuals outdoors and half-hardy annuals in a heated propagator in the greenhouse or on a windowsill indoors.
Meanwhile create some instant spring colour on patios with containers and baskets full of pansies and primroses alongside spring bulbs. After the last frost plant out summer bedding such as geraniums or petunias in containers and outdoor beds.
For the keen Kitchen gardener spring is the time to sow this season’s crop of most salad and vegetable crops from tomatoes to green beans in the ground, in the greenhouse or just in containers on the patio.
Now that the risk of frost has finally passed its time to indulge in some real flower colour, whether it’s swathes of colour themed perennials or bright clusters of bedding plants spilling from hanging baskets and containers.
Planting up summer bedding plants such as geraniums, lobelia and impatiens in containers and hanging baskets will instantly brighten up your porch or patio and last well into the autumn months.
If the late spring has delayed progress in your garden, it’s not too late to get your garden in order by weeding, pruning, controlling pests and growing on herbs and vegetables for a late summer harvest.
You can still find plenty impulsive flowering shrubs and perennials at the garden centre ready to fill gaps in beds and borders but do water newly planted specimens regularly, especially in hot weather.
The rich changing leaf colour's of maples and cherries combine with seed-heads and berries signaling the beginning of the end of the growing season. Autumn is nature’s time for planting, when the ground is moist and cool giving the maximum opportunity for plants to establish roots and settle into their new environment. Plant trees, shrubs, roses, fruit bushes and hedging at this time of year to give them the best possible start.
For people with an allotment or kitchen garden many varieties of vegetable can be planted in autumn. These include Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, garlic, kale, leeks, lettuce, onions, parsley, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach and turnips.
Start planting spring flowering bulbs such as daffodils or crocuses which are available at the garden centre now to give them time to settle before spring.
Summer blooming shrubs should be pruned for shape after they have finished flowering. Remove any dead or diseased branches. This is also the best time to move older plants to a new position in the garden.
Don’t forget to bring in tender plants under cover before the first frosts. Plant out fresh colour by doorways and in your patio containers and baskets with combinations of winter pansies, cyclamen and shapely evergreen foliage to welcome you home through the dark winter months.
Christmas is a last opportunity to enjoy the winter garden with an illuminated fir tree alongside displays of scented sarcoccoca, winter flowering hellebores and attractive barks such as birch and dogwoods.
Doors can be decorated with natural outdoor wreaths or sprigs of mistletoe and holly.
January and February is also a great time to do maintenance jobs on garden structures and to start planning for new garden features to be ready for the start of next spring.