Yes, the days really are getting longer, and before you know it spring will be here!
But while we wait for the warmth of the spring sun, we can make the most of chilly winter days by getting our gardens ready for brighter times.
Spring is an exciting time when everything starts coming back to life following the long Winter snooze! So, whether you are embarking on a complete redesign or just having a good old tidy up, here are some jobs in the garden that you could be getting on with right now…
Weed flower beds and borders, sweep up dead leaves and give your greenhouse its own ‘spring clean’.
You could inject some colour into your garden up with some recycled loose glass - available in a huge range of colours; adding it to plant pots, flower beds or around ornaments and around buildings will really brighten up what is left of winter.
Create a theme for your garden by introducing ornaments into your flowerbed, lawn or patio.
Do some planting
Brighten up February with colourful pansies, violas and primroses and re-plant some container-grown snowdrops – my favourite!
In preparation for spring, sow some fragrant sweet peas. Keep them protected, or in the greenhouse you just cleaned out.
And for early summer, pot up lily bulbs and keep them somewhere light and frost free.
Remember, even though it is still technically winter, during long periods of dry weather your pots and containers will still need watering.
Installing a water butt
Rainwater can be collected from the roof of homes, garages, greenhouses and other outside structures – in fact anywhere there is a gutter and a drain pipe.
The rainwater collected can be distributed using a watering can or an irrigation system.
Not only does this make financial and environmental sense, plants actually prefer rainwater!
Useful link: How to install a water butt
Mending broken fences and gates
Fences and gates not only protect your home by creating a boundary they also help keep pets and children safe.
Now is the best time to repair any winter damage by securing loose panels and replacing those beyond repair.
Useful link: How to repair a wooden fence
Improving your pathway or patio
Damaged surfaces are not only dangerous, they don’t look nice!
This is the right time of year to repair and improve your pathways or patios.
If possible, repair any cracks and replace broken slabs. If the surface is beyond repair you should consider replacing it now, so that it’s ready to use in the nicer weather.
Improve your pathway or patio by laying resin bound paving on top (it can be laid over many existing surfaces). You can even do this yourself by using a self-install option.
Installing a new patio or pathway
If you have a new garden, or feel that yours lacks any structure, or sense of order, this is the best time of year to lay a new patio or pathway.
Surface options include concrete, asphalt, paving slabs, gravel or resin bound paving.
Concrete is a durable and low maintenance, but it’s not very pretty. And unless great care is taken in its design and its placing it will inevitably crack.
Asphalt is a low maintenance and durable surface that is also available in a permeable option. While asphalt itself is not very attractive it can be surfaced with other materials to make it prettier.
Gravel is a quick, low cost way of creating a pathway but it deteriorates quickly and requires constant sweeping.
Resin bound paving is attractive, accessible and versatile. It gives the appearance of gravel but needs little maintenance, there are no loose stones and it has a life span of up to 25 years.
Useful link: How to measure your area