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While the sun is shining and you’re enjoying some time at home, why not get your hands dirty, turn those fingers green and spruce up your garden? Plants and flowers are known to positively boost our mood, so surrounding yourself with nature could really improve your mental health during these challenging times.
Our gardeners at Richmond Villages have some advice on how to transform your outdoor space.
There are many plants that form the perfect summer garden that don’t necessarily require a lot of land. Flowers such as Agapanthus, Gladiolus, Daylilies, Alliums and Freesias can be grown in a planter or in the garden, and they all require minimal maintenance. They will also add a splash of colour and brighten up any space. If you enjoy cooking, herbs are also perfect for growing in a window box or pot.
For those wanting something that will last all year round rather than planting for the seasons, a lavender shrub could be considered. These evergreen plants flower in late spring and thrive in a sunny spot and the bees will love them. You only need to prune them to keep them compact for your space and the leaves and flowers can be used for potpourri and scented bags.
Whilst garden centres are currently closed and visits to the
supermarket are limited, seeds, pots and compost are all available to purchase
Growing your own shouldn’t be limited to those who have a large garden or an allotment. Salad plants such as lettuce, rocket and radish are easy to grow and are perfect for window boxes and large pots, as are herbs and fruits such as strawberries.
Cherry tomatoes can be grown in hanging baskets which are great for small gardens or balconies. If you have a nice sunny spot and keep it well watered, you could have tomatoes growing in a matter of weeks.
The key to growing a healthy plant is to ensure the compost it’s sitting in is always moist, so when we have warm, sunny weather make sure to water your plants most days.
Whilst gardening is a pleasant and peaceful pass time, the constant bending and kneeling that it brings can put pressure on your knees and back if you don’t look after them. There are several ways to keep your body in good health whilst enjoying gardening:
Raised flower beds are perfect for avoiding excessive bending and having to kneel for prolonged periods of time. They’re also great for growing vegetables such as peas, beans and onions.
For those tending to a garden which requires you bending, say if you’re weeding, try using a foam knee pad to kneel on. This will provide you with comfort and will protect the knees.
When you are busy tending to your plants either out in the garden or on a balcony you can be distracted from how strong the sun is. You should always wear a hat and sun cream when exposed to the sun, especially for prolonged periods of time and keep hydrated.
This may just be the key to transforming your garden. A stack truck has two wheels and a flat ledge on the bottom and a handle to push the load, which allows you to easily transport heavy pots around your garden. It also means you won’t have to wait for the grandchildren to visit before you can move things around!
Many of us don’t realise that there are lots of plants and flowers that can be harmful to the skin and cause irritation, such as Ivy and Euphorbia, therefore gloves should be worn to avoid reaction. Wearing gloves is also essential when handling flowers with thorns such as roses, as these can cut your hands and if not treated properly can become infected.
Make the most of this time and create an outdoor space you're proud of.