1. Lawn care/ Cut the grass – it not only adds to kerb appeal it’s good for you. A green lawn lowers systolic blood pressure and the smell of cut grass switches off stress hormones. The best treatment you can give it now is to give it a good rake to get the moss and thatch out then a haircut which will stimulate growth hormones and get the natural chlorophyll to green up without the need for chemical fertilizer. If it’s lacklustre add a few fizzy iron tablets to the watering can or make it a bucket of nettle tea. Earthworms are waking up and they will soon aerate the soil.
2. Spring clean – Tidy up but just enough – winter can shake the garden up a bit and loose trellis, blown over plants and debris make it look less than desirable but a tidy up is a way to start back. And to notice areas that need attention. Clearing the garden of leaf litter and any rubbish blown in or deposited there is a way to remove pest and plants diseases that may harbour. For some weeding is an obsessive search for perfection – but a burst now will prevent them going to seed and a million more come April. I leave a patch of weeds for birds and butterflies that feed off them and also because I use some – cleavers are a lymphatic tonic, nettles are great plant feed and so on. If your worried about a dirty corner make a bug hotel and stake it out for what it is .
3. A dash of colour – nothing says spring like a riot of blue , pink and yellow and there are plenty of colourful seasonal bedding plants and bulbs in all the budget supermarkets as well as the diy chains and proper garden centres. Doesn’t matter where you buy them – the trick is timing. Now that we are past the equinox the sun is a bit closer to the earth and the soil is heating up and the urge is to plant instantly but wait for it – Once we get above 8 degrees it’s safe to plant out, by all means buy now but do that trick where you acclimatise the new buys over the next week before you plant or make a cloche from a drinks bottle. Frost may still bite up to May but by then you’re refreshing with summer bedding anyway.
If all you have is a balcony or a tiny yard, paint a table and chair set a vibrant colour and make a centrepiece if cheery bulbs and spring flowers. That’s all it takes for the mind to perceive a sense of garden. And there is as much psychological reward from a cup of coffee in that setting as in a 20arce wildflower meadow.
4. A spot of giy – gardening is as much about harvest as it is about exterior design so plant a herb pot or hanging basket with tumbling tomatoes or strawberries. Nothing beats the taste of what you have nurtured along – It’s the best bragging rights safe enough for your ma to see on your facebook page. Herbs are easy – good drainage and a sunny corner. Tomatoes and strawberries just don’t forget to water.
Even in the smallest space a pallet can become an upcycled living larder with all your favourite smoothie and sandwich filler foods. Parsley, spinach leaf, lettuce all do better in some shade
5. A nice aroma. Gardens are multi-sensory and best of all is the opportunity to breath in some aroma therapy. Chamomile calms, peppermint lifts mood, lavender is a good night’s sleep, roses relieve tiredness, cut grass de-stresses and so on. If you have a good reason to step outside then you will step out more often.