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Spring Gardening Tips from our Gardener Paul Medhurst

I was talking to Paul, our fantastic gardener the other day, bewailing, as is customary and traditional in the UK, the state of the garden/weather etc, and I thought that although gardening might be deeply boring for some, actually doing some good works in the garden at the start of the year, yields big dividends later. As we have come to appreciate here at Breedon where the garden seems to exceed itself year on year.

So, yes, spring is an exciting time for gardeners in the UK, as it marks the beginning of the growing season and as we have such dismal weather from January to March, it lifts everyone's spirits to see green buds finally appearing about now …

Here, then, are 10 essential tasks that Paul tells me will help get your garden off to a great start:

1. Clean up and tidy: Remove any debris, fallen leaves, and dead plants from the previous season. This helps prevent pests and diseases from overwintering and gives your garden a fresh start

2. Prepare the soil: Test your soil pH and amend it as necessary to ensure it's suitable for the plants you want to grow. Add organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure to improve soil structure and fertility.

3. Prune: Prune back any dead or damaged branches on trees, shrubs, and perennials. This encourages healthy growth and improves the overall appearance of your garden. Also, prune early-flowering shrubs after they've finished blooming.

4. Divide and transplant: Spring is an ideal time to divide overcrowded perennials and transplant any plants that have outgrown their current location. This helps rejuvenate the plants and prevents them from competing for space and nutrients. Do as we do and swop out some of ours for someone else's on a quid pro quo - saves a fortune on buying new!

5. Mulch: Apply a layer of mulch around your plants to suppress weeds, retain moisture, and regulate soil temperature. Organic mulches such as bark chips or compost are ideal for improving soil health and fertility.

6. Plant: Start sowing seeds indoors for vegetables and annual flowers that need a head start before the last frost date. Outdoors, plant hardy annuals, perennial flowers, and early vegetables such as peas, lettuce, and spinach.

7. Feed: Begin feeding your plants with a balanced fertilizer to provide essential nutrients for healthy growth. Slow-release or organic fertilizers are preferable as they release nutrients gradually and improve soil fertility over time.

8. Protect from pests: Monitor your garden for signs of pests and take preventive measures such as installing barriers, using companion planting techniques, or applying organic pest controls when necessary. Don't destroy wasps nests either (unless they are dangerously close to people) as they are great eaters of garden pests.

9. Water: Ensure your plants receive adequate water, especially during dry spells. Water deeply and less frequently to encourage deep root growth and drought tolerance. Water early in the morning to minimize evaporation and reduce the risk of fungal diseases.

10. Plan for the season ahead: Take some time to plan your garden layout, choose new plants to add to your garden, and consider any changes or improvements you want to make. Keeping a gardening journal can help you track your progress and learn from your successes and failures.


Yes I know that most of them are fairly obvious, but it doesn't alter the fact that they mustn't be overlooked. Come and see our garden that is designed for ease of maintenance yet Charlotte has designed, with Paul's help, that it flowers most of the year around.


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