Many of you who regularly keep up with our news will know that we are very honoured to have the support of one of the Queen’s former Royal Gardeners, Graham Stone. We are thrilled that Graham is volunteering his time and expertise to help advise on the development of the landscaped gardens at the new hospice.
With the nation in lockdown during this time of crisis and maybe a little more time available to do some chores around the home, we sought Graham’s wisdom on gardening tips for this time of year.
1. DON’T CUT THE LAWNS TOO SHORT
When there’s nice weather in the UK, the first thing people want to do is cut their lawns. Make sure you don’t set the lawn mower blade too low. The grass will remain greener for longer and for those with kids running around outside, it won’t wear out as quickly.
2. NOW IS THE LAST CHANCE TO CUT BACK SHRUBS
It’s your last chance to cut back your common shrubs, but don’t be too technical about it. Just make sure there is an outward facing bud, and cut out the three D’s– dead wood, diseased wood and dying wood.
3. GENTLY FORK YOUR BORDERS AND APPLY MULCH
Now is the time to lightly fork over your borders. Just gently turn over about 3-4 inches. This allows aeration to improve texture and get oxygen around the plants. After you have done that ideally apply mulch – a 2-inch covering – after you have forked the area over. The worms will draw down the mulch and add texture to your soil, and it slows down evaporation of water under the soil which lessens the amount you will need to water later on.
4. CHOOSE PLANTS THAT NEED LITTLE PRUNING
When choosing plants go for draught tolerant ones, and shrubs that need little pruning, don’t be a slave to your garden.
5. ADD LOTS OF VARIETY TO YOUR GARDEN – TEXTURE, SHAPES AND SCENT
Even in a small garden, make sure to add variety so you have something happening all the time, capturing the senses. Put some coloured stems in there, get some varied foliage, use different leaf textures and shapes; and most of all get that scent in the garden through foliage or plants.
Even though nurseries and garden centres are currently shut, many local nurseries are selling new plants and sundries online with some also offering delivery.
AND TIPS FOR PEOPLE WHO DON’T HAVE A GARDEN…..
· House plants can give any room a calming effect. If you give time to the plant and nurture it, it has been proven to lower stress levels.
· If you think your room is too hot or dry, you can mist the plant or stand it on a gravel tray with a bit of water in it. This adds humidity to the room, which is also good for you as it adds moisture to the air.
· Look online to find a plant for you. You will find one, and by caring for something, it will reduce your stress levels.