By Paul Hervey-Brookes
Easter is traditionally the time when we head out to the garden centres en masse to shop for seeds, plants and whatever takes our fancy for the garden and after unloading all our goodies it's time to set to in the garden.
Start with the front door and create a door welcome. Take a moss wreath and add delicate feathers, tiny quails eggs and pretty grape hyacinths and daffodils. Finish off with a bright yellow gingham ribbon and the welcome for your Easter visitors is complete.
Coax the children outside and get them involved. Let them plant up a window box with easy to grow seeds (children's seed packets can be bought at most garden centres). As it's never too cold for a lolly, when they've finished use the sticks for name labels. Explain to them about the various insects in the garden, those that are good and those that are not. Give them a pot of paint, brush and a pot to paint for their very own plants to go in. Give them a space of their own to be edged with brightly painted pebbles and planted with anything that takes their fancy, however odd. We all had to learn!
Grown up jobs are more mundane as the lawn will benefit from spiking, feeding and moss removal. Drives and terraces need to be cleaned ready for the coming seasons. Fences and sheds need to checked for rot and repaired.
Deadhead spent bulbs, ensure mulch around plants deep enough to suppress weeds and retain moisture in summer.
The maintenance for the year has begun now so get up close and personal with all those niggly weeds and either fork them out or use a good weedkiller. Check all trees and shrubs and re-firm the soil around them. Summer flowering bulbs need checking for disease, prune back the hydrangea and roses. Lay out dahlias and begonias in trays to encourage growth.
Finally get your hanging baskets out and renew liners ready for bedding plugs.
Energy flagging? Treat yourself to a well earned cup of tea and maybe a biscuit before gathering up the children to decorate your garden with bunting, lights and then hide all those eggs for the Easter Egg Hunt!
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