Get rid of built-up winter grime and give your outdoor space a spruce up, in preparation for the summer season ahead
Wooden Hawkesbury hand rake, £12, Garden Trading
Start by clearing out your borders and planters and removing any dead branches and debris. Use secateurs to trim back overgrown plants and hedges to make your flowerbeds more presentable, and rake up fallen leaves from the lawn, decking and patios, too.
Now is also a good time to de-weed your borders and hard surfaces. Not only will this help with the overall appearance of your garden, but it will also stop the weeds stealing valuable nutrients from your spring-flowering plants as they bloom.
Botanique Brunia patio tiles, £29.95 per square metre, Walls and Floors
Moss and layers of dirt will have most likely built up on your patio, paths and decking over the colder months, but a few hours labour now can make them look as good as new again. Invest in a mild all-purpose cleaning solution for the hard surfaces but be sure to use a natural one if you have pets.
Once this has been applied, use a hard-bristled brush to scrub the surface or, for a speedier alternative, try a jet pressure washer to lift off the grime. Be sure to remove moss and weeds growing in the gaps and crevices, too, to stop them spreading later on.
Ornate green metal garden bench, £174.95, Melody Maison
As well as preparing your landscape for the summer, now is the perfect time to clean your garden furniture ready for use. Use a dry cloth to remove any cobwebs and loose dirt first, then, depending on the material of your furniture, wipe it down with a suitable cleaning solution.
You’ll need to take extra care with wooden furniture to make sure the solution won’t damage the surface and remember to treat wooden pieces with a protective oil, too.
Selection of pots, all Dobbies. Plants include yucca gloriosa variegate, £14.99; garvinea assorted, £9.99; heuchera Indian summer boysenberry, £9.99; Ophiopogon black dragon, £9.99; sempervivum, £4.99; euphorbia glacier blue, £8.99; geranium Bevan’s variety, £9.99, all Dobbies
Taking care of pots and planters is an important part of your annual garden maintenance and can impact how well next season’s plants will grow. Using a stiff brush and water, start by removing any dirt and stuck-on soil from both the inside and out of the pots. This will also remove any built-up salt deposits from the previous planting.
Next, fill a large container with one-part bleach to nine-parts water and submerge the pots for ten minutes. This will kill off any lingering bacteria and stop it from transferring to the new plants.
Rinse the pots well (soak terracotta pots for an extra ten minutes in fresh water to clear out any absorbed bleach) and allow to dry before re-planting.
Add some colour
If your fences are looking a little drab, why not give them a lick of paint in a shade other than brown? Black fencing is a big trend at the moment and can give your garden a contemporary feel, or opt for something country-cottage inspired, such as sage green. Be sure to clean the panels well before painting and always use a specialist fence paint to give the wood suitable protection against the elements.
National Trust Collection Stourhead greenhouse, £15,950, Alitex
Not only does cleaning the windows of your greenhouse greatly improve the look of your garden, but it also aids the growth of the plants inside, too. By removing the moss, dirt and algae growing on the glass, more light can filter through to the plants which improves their growing environment.
The ideal time to clean your greenhouse is between November and February, but if you haven’t done it yet, just be sure to choose a dry, calm day to best protect the plants inside when they are moved for cleaning.
Most glass can be cleaned with dish detergent, a sponge and a soft broom (to work off the dirt), or a hosepipe with a car-cleaning nozzle will do the trick. Take care not to apply too much pressure to the glass, to avoid damaging or shattering the panes.
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