Everything You Need To Prepare For National Gardening Week
With National Gardening Week on the horizon, it’s time to start preparing your outdoor space for a serious transformation this sunny season. Yes, with summer just around the corner, we’re set to hazy days of warmer weather, relaxation and, most importantly, time with much-missed family and friends. As the lockdown restrictions slowly ease over the coming weeks and months, it won’t be long before our backyards become the ultimate party palaces, and what better way to get organised than with an amazing agricultural overhaul? These al fresco enhancements needn’t cost the earth, but will truly make a difference when it comes to enjoying nature at home.
In this blog, we’re going to explore some of the best ways to prep your garden for the horticultural event of the year, offering tips, tricks and advice along the way. As spring makes its triumphant arrival, along with blooming vegetation, we want to help you make the most of your luscious green space (birds and bees included!). Read on to discover how flowers and foliage can easily equal fun with friends, family and fauna in tow.
National Gardening Week
This year, National Gardening Week falls between Tuesday, April 27th and Monday, May 3rd. An annual event originally cultivated (see what we did there?) by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in 2013, it was designed to raise awareness on the benefits of backyard planting and growing, encouraging even the most reluctant of green-fingers to take part in one of the most beneficial and satisfying pastimes. From constructing hedgehog habitats to establishing vegetable plots at home, there really is no limit to the environmental inventions you can create. Though major exhibitions and demonstrations will be held across some of the top RHS greens and grounds this season, members of the public are also invited to hold events themselves, so what are you waiting for? Don your finest pair of gloves and whip out that weed killer today! We promise you won’t regret it.
A healthy and productive outdoor activity, gardening is a fabulous way to enjoy nature from the comfort of your own home. Not only an effective form of workout, it also massively assists with mental health, helping to reduce the risk of anxiety (and osteoporosis, too). Great for the whole family, as well as some much-needed ‘me time’, sowing and growing can really boost your vitamin D levels and leave you feeling calm, cool, and composed after a hard day at work.
National Gardening Week is a fantastic time for landscapers of all levels to delight and take pleasure in all your surrounding wildlife. So, whether you’re a nature novice at the start of your journey, or a hardened horticulturalist springing back to life, we can’t wait to support you in finding a bunch of new skills and inspiration. In the words of Alan Titchmarsh, “It’s more important than ever that we savour the beauty of flowers and trees because gardens are a natural tonic.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves!
Top up that toolkit
Before beginning any task, it’s important to ensure you’ve collected all the correct equipment and, in the case of agriculture, this always starts with gardening tools. Fantastic for outdoor use all year round, generic implements like secateurs, shovels and spades make useful additions to your kit, and can be employed for a diverse range of tasks around your home. In preparation for your serious spring-summer makeover, why not invest in a specially-designed organiser to arrange and coordinate your pruning paraphernalia? We recommend this rolling storage box as an excellent place to start. Not only spacious enough to hold everything from twine to trowels, this handy wheel-moving model is easily pushed along your lawn, diminishing the need for heavy lifting and transportation.
Sourcing these tools early will certainly come in handy by the time National Gardening Week rolls around. With everything you could possibly need in your al fresco arsenal, your flora and fauna will never look better, and you’ll feel like a true winner (without having to make any last-minute trips to the garden centre). Here at OnBuy, there’s no need to ‘herb’ your enthusiasm with the sheer number of tools we have on offer. Whether it’s a wheelbarrow, pickaxe, hoe, or edger that you’re looking for, there’s plenty of choice for every budget and buyer.
Top tip: gloves are perhaps the most important item in any gardener’s gear, so it’s really important to invest in a good-quality, natural fibre pair (like this example from the garden specialists at Town & Country) before any cultivation can commence. If you’ve ever tried pulling up nettles or cutting back thorny shrubs without them, you’ll understand why they should be at the top of the list. Indeed, even handling fairly harmless-looking plants can leave your mitts feeling sore and irritated, so be sure to purchase a pair that are tough enough to defend you from the prickliest of brambles and sharpest of rose thorns.
Add some flourishes to those flower beds
Adding some new and exciting vegetation to your flower beds can really make all the difference when garnishing your garden. They don’t even have to be buds, blooms or blossoms either - some of the best-looking plots often only feature fruit and herb plants, which also benefit from enticing smells and textures. Yes, whatever your style and preference, your yard can be as unique and distinctive as you are, so start your sowing and be ready to get creative - it’s a very personal experience.
If buds are your bag, be sure to invest in a wide range of plant life and flowers, as diversity helps to generate a fully-functional ecosystem for all your visiting insects and creatures. In other words, don’t be a ‘one-trick peony’ and stick to a single variety of flora in your garden. Instead, mix it up a bit. If you fancy planting a rose next to a rain lily, go for it! There really is no end to the combinations you can establish in your environment (and the bees will certainly thank you for it).
Not blessed with a larger open space but still want a slice of the outside? Why not think about window boxes? These attractive adornments can effortlessly give any home the country farmhouse-chic vibe, and truly smarten up any unappealing window or balcony ledge. If this isn’t possible, how about livening up your indoor area with some gorgeous pots and hanging planters, each one designed to store and support your much-loved florae and foliage? Whether you’re a fan of charming, minimalist aesthetics, or ornate, luxurious interiors, there’s something to suit every décor in our online selection.
Top tip: early on in the season, it’s a good idea to give your flower beds a tidy-up before the bedding begins. Remove the last of the dead leaves and pull out any weeds that are rearing their nasty heads, and then use an edging tool to neaten and straighten the outer boundaries of your chosen plot. Finally, add a layer of mulch over the surface to feed the soil and prevent any unwanted plants from reappearing. By completing these quick chores in advance of any sunny weather, you’ll be giving your shrubs the best head start imaginable, ensuring their longevity for the future.
Treat your tweeters
Is there anything better than birdsong? Here at OnBuy, we think it’s one of the best things about gardening outdoors, and we’d love to tell you why. Though this may sound surprising, it’s actually been scientifically proven that the sound of tweeting twitterers can offer unmatched relief from mental fatigue and stress, helping us to feel instantly peaceful and calm whenever tense or worried. Research found that no matter what a person’s age or social background, whether they lived in a busy city or a leafy suburb, those who heard more chirping birds during the day were far less likely to feel gloomy than those who did not. Interesting, right?
In wanting to say ‘thank you’ to our feathered friends, we’ve come up with a recipe for the best birdie treat imaginable. Able to be prepared ahead of National Gardening Week itself, it’s sure to attract a plethora of beautiful and pleasing peckers to keep you company as you prune and plant. Just think… it can be your good ‘seed’ of the day!
First, combine all your dry ingredients together in a bowl. Melt some lard or suet in a pan and add this to the dry mix, stirring well until the fat has been absorbed and the blend sticks together. Next, make a hole in the bottom of your yogurt pot and thread through a length of twine or string, then pack the pot with your warm fat mixture. Place the cakes in the fridge overnight to set, then cut through and peel away the pot the following morning. Tie a big knot at one end, to secure the block, then hang it from your tree or bush. Be sure it’s in a central position, so you can watch the birds as they feast.
Invest in some fabulous furniture
One of the greatest benefits of gardening is being able to enjoy quiet time outside, and what better way to do this than with a set of furniture? From benches to parasols, there are thousands of elegant examples out there, and plenty to keep you relaxed when any agricultural activity warrants a break.
Forget BBQs, outdoor heating and fire pits for the moment, the best accessories are those that encourage some rightful recreation after a long day of planting, weeding and growing. Laying the groundwork for Gardening Week, it might be worth thinking about some outdoor home improvement to fully enhance and profit from the horticultural heydays ahead. For the little ones in your life, why not consider purchasing a fun-filled tent or gazebo to keep them entertained (safely in the shade) while you start the sowing? If not, how about a hammock or hanging chair to help you achieve optimal bliss in the evening while enjoying the calming effects of nature? No matter the size of your plot, there’s a plethora of restful and soothing solutions to keep you revitalised this summer.
Top tip: if new items aren’t a necessity, you could always simply update the furniture already stored at home. Cushions, padding, and other outdoor decorations like candles, table covers, and lighting are fab ways to improve and highlight your fittings, making them the statement centrepieces dreams were simply made on. A convenient solution to curing any house-barrassment, they’re the perfect way to update your equipment - without the hefty price tag!
Improving your plot
We hope you’ve enjoyed this guide on how best to prepare your garden for the sunny weeks ahead. If you require more information or advice on how to organise your outdoor space, why not check out our blog and buyer’s guide resources? Packed with handy advice and ideas on all things agricultural, including top tips on how to take your plot from drab to fab, they’re the helpful, supportive sources you didn’t know you needed.
All that’s left to say now is… no matter what you have planned for the coming months and seasons, one thing’s for sure: it’s going to be bloomin’ brilliant!
The information in this blog is correct at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.