7 ways to get your garden ready for summer

Spring has arrived and a slew of bank holidays are just around the corner! So it’s time to start planning ways to get the most out of your garden.

With the promise of warmer weather, if you tackle jobs now, your outdoor space will be ready for alfresco entertaining with your friends and family.

After you’ve given the garden a spring-clean, think about how best to transform it into a space you can use all year round.

So spring into action and transform your garden into a fabulous space ready for the upcoming (hopefully sunny) bank holiday weekends…

A lick of paint

If fences, sheds or garden furniture are looking jaded, now’s the time for a fresh coat.

Treat softwood furniture with a stain, such as Cuprinol Clear Garden Furniture Stain, £14.63 for 0.75 litres,diy.com.

Purple is the big colour trend this summer and the one to go for if you like the idea of adding pops of colour (try Purple Berry by Ronseal, diy.com). Dove grey is a good choice if you prefer something more muted.

Wash winter away

Paved areas will benefit from a good clean with a scrubbing brush dipped into a mix of warm water and washing-up liquid. Metal, resin and rattan furniture can be washed with warm soapy water too, as can your pots and planters.

Remove moss or debris on slabs with a jet-wash cleaner on a low setting, avoiding the gaps in-between. The Karcher K4 Compact (£189.99, amazon.co.uk) is lightweight and easy to use.

Add some colour

Dahlias are back in fashion and will add pizazz in the garden right into autumn. Half-fill a large pot with compost, add the tubers, then fill to the top with more compost.

Try Sarah Raven’s purple mix Cardinal Collection, four tubers for £15.50, sarahraven.com.

Get mowing

Top tip: set the blades high for the first cut of the season. However, if you want to wave goodbye to this task, robotic mowers are the next big thing. The Husqvarna Automower (£2,100)  can be controlled by an app on your phone.

Fire up

Enjoy the garden for longer by the light of flickering flames and invest in a stylish fire pit.

Bridgman’s Sorrento fire pit, £549 (or £1,699 with four rocking armchairs, pictured) is perfect for relaxing until late. Or else try the Barrington fire pit (£160) which will weather into an attractive naturally rusted finish.

Pick up the pruners

Cut back shrubs with woody stems such as buddleia and lavender, as the new shoots start to show. “This encourages fuller growth and loads more flowers,” says celebrity botanist James Wong. Try Fiskars PowerGear X pruners, £34.99.

Illuminate your world

Discreet garden lighting adds another dimension and makes the garden useable all year. Use to highlight statement plants and to enhance water features and ornaments.

Words: Sarah Wilson

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