Now is a great time to start planning and preparing your garden for spring/summer – it’s time to finally give it some TLC!
Here are some top tips:
- Spring clean – start with a general tidy up of the garden. Clear away any debris including dead sticks, leaves and any rubbish that may have appeared during the winter months;
- Remove and compost any dead annual plants that remained over winter;
- Keep up with your garden maintenance, early spring is the best time to take action against weeds;
- Get rid of pests! You may have taken the time to help prevent diseases from spreading throughout your garden with general garden cleanliness, but sometimes pests are still drawn to your plants;
- Give your lawn a health check. If it’s moss-ridden or full of weeds there are plenty of treatments available on the market and there is still time to scarify;
- Think about and add screening elements like trellises. Trellis fences have high functionality and can be used for various exterior projects and can provide a strong support system for plants and flowers to climb upon;
- If you haven’t already, install a water butt in your garden. It not only helps the environment but plants benefit much more from rain water than tap water;
- Plan things out. Before you start planting it’s a good idea to make a plan for what you’re going to grow and where.
There are SO many different types of gardening equipment available. I realised this as I was writing up product descriptions for 13 new garden tractors. Lots of them were very similar, yet had slight differences which I had to outline – not being a garden tractor expert myself, it is harder than it seems to know what readers want to know about in just 100 words. Some of them even charge your phones whilst you ride them!
I’ve been delving into the world of gardening bloggers and podcasts, researching ways in which the Paskett PR clients can get their products talked about through a range of different platforms. There are quite a few of them out there, all offering their own tips and tricks.
The other week I used ‘Agility’ for the first time, which is a programme that contains newspaper, magazine and website contacts. You can then put together a personalised spreadsheet of publications which for instance, only talk about the latest gadgets or interior design. This is great for creating contact sheets for a client on places that their products may be able to get featured.
It’s a cliché, but no two days are the same
As you can see I’m always kept busy, which is great because even though I’m only here once a week I’m still learning lots about working in PR, and helping where I can with different research tasks.
I noticed at Uni the other week that the Derby Internship Programme has lots of new roles being advertised ready for April. I would definitely recommend an internship to anyone to truly get a feel for the environment that you want to work in. It also gives you work experience which will look great on your CV!
House developers from the South have managed to acquire several fields around my home and have started work on building 140 houses. Both local authorities unanimously rejected the application and more than 3000 local people in and around Uttoxeter signed a petition against it. But the developers went to appeal and a planning official from Bristol who clearly knew Uttoxeter like the back of his hand – not – said yes, destroying these ancient fields. The area is known as Oldfields.
…Hey ho, so much for history and local democracy.
So, what to do? There is a very old traditional hedge that separates one of the fields from our view and this will be terrific in the summer, when in full leaf. But as I write the vision of diggers, dumper trucks and workmen is all too clear from our home – not to mention the noise.
Creating screening hedges
My wife and I have taken lots of advice and settled on a three-pronged approach. I have bought a quantity of black thorn which are about 18” high. I need to know where the real gaps are when the hedge is in leaf so, I have planted them in large pots that currently stand in a sheltered walled garden. I shall put them out strategically into the hedge in the summer.
Phase two is a line of 35 leylandii that will fill in another gap. These were planted a couple of weeks ago, and are two meters high and pot grown and, assuming the rabbits leave them alone, they will develop into a dense view and noise absorbing hedge that I shall top off at about 20 feet.
To add some green contrast to the leylandii we have planted a double row of laurels, again I shall leave them to mature to a hedge of about 15 feet high. Between the leylandii and the laurels is a gap of about eight feet and I shall plant this out with various trees that I am growing on from seedlings. These include beech, sycamore, holly and birch.
We recognise we are late in starting this project but hope that within a few years we will have some protection from the view of the houses – and they from us.
Following Storm Doris we lost four trees in our Staffordshire garden but one of them – a very mature Prunus – has been renamed Lazarus. It crashed down onto the lawns and was in a terrible mess. The root ball was about four meters high. I spent hours cutting off the top and all the branches leaving the main trunk which, at the root, was half a meter diameter.
Using my battery powered chain saw, and staring at the top and thinner end of the trunk, I cut up into useful log lengths. The main trunk divided into two so there was plenty of cutting up. After a couple of hours my back was aching so I decided to step down into the hole behind the upturned root ball and began trimming off the main roots.
Suddenly, there was a creaking noise and very gently the root ball and remaining trunk, which is about three meters high, began to tip backwards. I had to jump out of the root hole very rapidly or would have been partially buried. Now, the remaining trunk, free of any foliage or side branches, is sitting in its original hole and looks rather like an American Indian totem pole.
It will be very interesting to see if it re-roots itself and continues to grow. Watch this space!