This morning, along with my recycling, I put out a sack of garden waste – my first this year. What this means, apart from the fact that I am getting old and will soon be buying my clothes in The Edinburgh Woollen Mill for comfort and durability, is that spring has officially sprung.
With this in mind, I thought today I’d slip in a quick gardening guest post, to give you a little inspiration for the weekend. Obviously now I have done this, it will rain. Sorry about that.
Preparing your garden for spring
For some of us doing the gardening is more of a chore than a pleasure. For others it is a passion. Regardless which you are it’s still important to prepare your garden for spring, and to get your children involved at an early age. The activity gives you a chance to teach your little one about plants and weeds, about dos and don’ts, and it also gives you something more to bond over. This opportunity can’t be missed no matter how much of a reluctant gardener you, yourself are, so open up those gardens sheds and get out the tools. You’ll need a rake, and a small shovel or trowel. You’ll also need to make sure you’re both wearing old clothes, or clothes specifically for gardening as you will get muddy.
First up is the grass. You can easily remove leaves and thatch together. Have a bucket at the ready to put them in as this saves you having to go to the compost bin every time you have a handful. After this is done you can rake away the moss as a team, by either having a rake each, or if your child is too young to have their own rake, you can do it together using one.
Next up are the flower beds. Again leaves and thatch will need to be removed, and some weeding will need doing. You can teach your garden helper the difference between a weed and a plant. After doing some areas together, split up for a while and do the chore alone. Check on your helper’s progress after some time, and don’t get too angry if mistakes are made. It is a learning curve after all.
Now that the flower beds are ready, head to your local garden centre and pick out some spring plants. It’s important to both choose which flowers to have. Some very nice spring plants ideal for a flower bed are: daisies, pansies, marigolds, petunias, begonias, impatiens, and gazanias. Try to get a good mix of colours.
Once back home take a look at your flower bed and plan where to put the plants. It needn’t be particularly precise, just a general idea of which areas should hold how many plants, and if you are going to plant all the Daisies in one area, or the same colour per area, or mix the colours and plants up regardless of type.
Planting the spring flowers together is a fun task to do, as you can teach your little one how deep the hole should be, how to carefully remove the plant from the pot, the importance of compost on top of the plant, and how vital it is to water straight after planting. You can divide these tasks up, having one person digging and watering and the other planting, and after some time switch roles. Be sure to talk about what you are going and what the name of the particular plant you are planting is. This is particularly good for younger children as it will improve their vocabulary. If you are in the garden with an older child, then simply talk about everyday things, and mention which of the plants are your favourites, and maybe even reminisce on the garden activities you used to do as a child.
After your work is done, sit back and admire your handy work.