As the clocks move forward, the days are longer and the weather just a little bit brighter, it's time to turn our attention to the garden. No matter how big or small your garden is, whether you are green fingered or prefer something a little lower maintenance, there are a few essential spring jobs that will help to keep your exterior looking lovely through the summer months, and save you significant amounts of money in the longer term.
Fencing and boundaries
You may have been doing emergency checks and fixes after the barrage of gales and storms that hit us over the winter months, but now that things have dried out and calmed down a bit, it is a good time to double check your fences. Fix any panels and posts that are damaged or wobbly and apply a fresh coat of stain or paint. It is amazing the impact that a newly stained fence has on the garden. If you have foliage boundaries, trim back overhanging branches and plants, and check for any holes in the boundary – particularly if you have pets. If you don’t have your own gear and hedge trimmer, get hold of a local gardener who will be able to make quick work of the job – and may even take the trimmings away with them, too.
Gutters and down-pipes
Blocked gutters or down-pipes can lead to serious damage. Your gutters have worked hard over the winter so it is a good idea to check them now, while you have the chance. If you are able to safely access your guttering, clear any debris and check for damaged or missing gutter. If you are not confident working up a ladder, or don’t have the equipment to do so safely, a handyman or guttering specialist will be able to help.
While you are checking your guttering, take a look at the roof and get in touch with a local roofer to replace or repair missing or damaged tiles.
Patios and decking
The cold, wet winter months take their toll on patio and decking, leaving them slippery and worn looking. This is nothing that can’t be fixed with a power washer and some elbow grease. Give them a good hose down and repaint or re-stain your decking if necessary. Be wary of washing the sand between patio slabs away; if it looks to be wearing thin, fill it in with a layer of builder’s sand.
It’s very likely that your lawn hasn’t had a good mow since the end of autumn. Now the weather is finally drier, you should mow on the longest setting. If you prefer a shorter mow, go over it again on a shorter setting. If you like a colourful garden, start thinking about what to plant in time for a summer bloom; if you need a head start, contact your local gardener for expert information and advice.