Celebrate Garden Week by giving your garden a makeover

National Garden Week is an opportunity to rediscover the joys of gardening and the beauty of our green spaces, while inspiring generations of gardeners. It takes place from 2nd to 8th May this year, with the Royal Horticultural Society kickstarting the festivities by unveiling four newly created community gardens on RHS Garden Day on 2nd May.

If you’re inspired by the beauty of the RHS gardens – Wisley in Surrey, Bridgewater in Salford, Harlow Carr in Yorkshire, Hyde Hall in Essex, and Rosemoor in Devon – and want to celebrate, there are lots of events happening that you can attend. However, the RHS are also encouraging everyone to take part in their own gardens or outside spaces, by finding happiness indulging your green fingers throughout the week.

Whether you are sowing seeds, repotting plants that have outgrown their tubs, adding nature spots in your gardens for the birds and bees, or simply going for a walk at a local green space, there’s lots you can be doing for National Garden Week.

Create spaces for wildlife

Welcome wildlife into your garden by adding wildlife-friendly spaces that encourage them to visit. You can do this with a mix of food, housing and plants, depending on your gardens size – there’s always something you can do to help wildlife!

To help birds, why not add a variety of seeds and peanuts, as well as other bird feed and fat balls to bird tables and boxes around your garden. This also works well for balconies and smaller gardens.

Investing in bird boxes or feeders helps to encourage birds to your garden, but a great addition, which many do not consider, would also be bee nest box. Make sure to place your box is full sunshine, ideally south east or east facing. The box should be 1 metre from the ground and near to plants. Be aware of windy parts of your garden and position the box so that it is secure and cannot be dislodged by a big gust!

You may also want to consider leaving a section of your garden to grow wild (do not cut back flowers or mow the lawn), giving a safe space for animals.

Rejuvenate your flowerbeds

Give your plants a new lease on life by adding a nutrient-rich top soil, deadheading flowers to encourage second blooms and pulling out weeds.

Deadheading some annuals and perennials will encourage them to continue to bloom and helps to maintain the appearance of your flowerbeds. While removing weeds makes it easier for your plants to get the nutrients they need, which may otherwise be taken by the unwanted weeds. Weeds must be pulled out by their roots and not the leaves to keep them from coming back year after year.

Adding a top soil helps extra oxygen to reach the plants and gives your plants the nutrients that it needs. Add a 2 or 3-inch layer of top soil and turn into the existing soil by about 30cm. Working with moist soil will give the best results.

Decorate your garden with bark

Looking for a way to change your gardens appearance without a major overhaul? Consider adding decorative elements to your garden that could have a lot of impact without a lot of work.

Here’s three ways to use decorative bark that could benefit your gardens appearance.

  • Flowerbeds – make sure that your soil is moist and lay a membrane layer down first, then top with bark. This works best before your plant as it’s easier to cut holes in the membrane, but can be done at any point, you just have to make allowances for your existing plats.
  • Pathways – if you’re garden paths are plain and uninteresting, add a layer of decorative bark to make it look a bit more attractive. This requires very little work, just weed beforehand to stop unwanted plants emerging down the line.
  • Plant pots – simple yet effective, adding bark to your plant pots helps neaten up their appearance and give a cohesive look to all your pots. Add a membrane to moist soil, just like with your flower beds, before laying the bark.

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