|Before and after spring tidy up in the woodland garden|
|Both borders complete, just needing the grass cut!|
Cutting back the herbaceous plants, picking up dead leaves and general rubbish lying around instantly improves the look of the borders. The stems and leaves of virtually all herbaceous plants can be taken down to ground level. At this time I also cut all last years leaves off Hellebores, even though they are still green. This allows us to see the flowers when they bloom early in the season and allows new leaves to grow through. If I have had a good year in the garden there are few weeds to remove now, but there are always some tenacious ones that insist, so out they come. Forking over the beds (taking care to avoid bulbs) opens up the soil to allow better drainage and let air in, it also looks good of course.
|The kids garden after tidying up, note the Agapanthus still wrapped up under its bamboo cloche|
Lastly I scatter fertiliser and compost over the beds, enriching the soil and feeding the plants. Well rotted manure is great or compost from your compost heaps spread over the surface of the soil is great to improve the soil, reduce weeds and feed the plants. Gradually over the year it is worked into the soil when you fork or hoe the beds and by the worms. I also scatter pelleted chicken manure over the beds. I have previously used Growmore and other chemical based slow release fertilisers but find that the organic pelleted chicken manure is really good and the plants love it!
|The fruit and veg garden after its spring tidy up, wish it looked this tidy all year round!|
Once the beds, patios, paths, lawns and other areas are all tided up the garden looks great and we can enjoy the plants growing and starting another year. After a month or so the garden will require another tidy up, but this is easier as its just a quick hoe and weed, the grass gets cut every week and we work on new projects.