Gardening in lockdown

My garden is my sanctuary, especially at the moment, when the world is topsy turvy. So what can we all DO in our gardens right now?

1. Grow your own.

This is oh so trendy right now and really easy. Decide where you want to grow and what you want to grow first then you are good to go. Courgettes are a really easy starter vegetable if you are new to growing and so are salad crops. All you need are a few seeds (try suttons), a container, some soil and water. Oh, and some sunshine! Don’t panic at this point. The container does not need to be anything fancy. A foil tray or even loo rolls will do. Fill your container with soil, lightly dampen the surface and add your seed. Then cover lightly with more soil and place somewhere sheltered but in good light. Now wait for the seeds to germinate and then, in late May, transfer to a final position outside. Loo rolls can be slotted straight into the final position. The sides will simply biodegrade as the plants grow. Keep plants watered but not sopping wet.

2. Plan a flower bed.

Is there a part of your garden which always looks messy or unfinished no matter what you do? Now is the time to plan a transformation using plants suitable for the soil and aspect. There are plants to suit every situation whether sunny or shady. Of course, if you need help consult Jo Manfredi-Hamer Garden Design. They can design remotely – just email them some pics. Jo can arrange plant deliveries too, from local trade suppliers at discounted rates. If you wish to obtain plants yourself try the following link – Everyone in horticulture is suffering right now so, if you can, try and support this sector and support local.

3. Focus on wildlife.

This is a great time to start observing wildlife in your garden. Why not make a beehouse out of discarded materials? Cut up bamboo sticks and fix into an empty container – see for further inspiration. Place it somewhere sunny alongside plants for bees. Ceanothus is a great plant for bees as is borage. Other ways to attract wildlife include making a bug hotel and making bird feeders – see Pinterest for inspiration. These are also great ways to keep the kids entertained so get them involved too.

4. Spring clean your garden.

Now is the time to catch up with all those jobs you never quite found the time for before. Tidy the shed, pressure wash the patio (make sure you don your wellies first), organise your gardening tools or even paint your old garden table and chairs a fresh colour. You could be the envy of all the neighbours and all your friends when lockdown is over! Alternatively, treat yourself to a new must-have accessory for the garden – fire pit anyone?

Now, I’m off to order that pizza oven…

Jo Manfredi Hamer is an award winning garden designer


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