Almost four weeks into the UK's lockdown and we're hearing more and more people saying and noticing the smallest pleasures in everyday life is keeping them smiling in this upside down world. We couldn't agree more that this approach is so important in times which are so uncertain. For us, outdoor spaces no matter how big or small are bringing joy, especially now the days are longer and the weather a little warmer.
With most of us spending more time at home, it seems like an excellent time to be dusting off our green fingers, or, in our case, lack of... We're more comfortable in the studio surrounded by a different kind of floral but that's about to change! My obliging grandparents, growers of the most wonderful roses we've ever seen and an abundant greenhouse, have very happily shared their knowledge of which jobs can make the biggest impact in the garden this month and we're sharing these tips today. And don't be fooled, this isn't just about gardens, most of the tips can also apply to balconies, window boxes and yards.
Lay the foundations
"Clean your paths and patios, stain the fence and benches and dig all the weeds out of the borders" were my grandad's orders. Thankfully we had made headway on this list; along with almost all of our neighbours, we partook in what will now forevermore be known as "Pressure Washer Sunday" a few weeks back. We've not yet started with the weeding but there's nothing more satisfying than weed free borders is there? In this season of "make do and mend" and minimising our spending/pressure on businesses to deliver it's a great opportunity to tighten up the garden furniture, clean it off, and re-protect. That'll keep you going through another Summer. Window boxes can be cleaned, balconies swept and outdoor window sills given a lick of paint.
Grow something to make you smile
As previously mentioned, we're not the most green fingered, but with Coco & Wolf based in the beautiful English countryside and working with stunning fabrics all day long we're very much appreciative of a little bit of nature's pretty! Now is the perfect time to sow some seeds, my grandparents prefer to start in seed trays popped on sunny window sills before planting out once established so that's what we'll be trying with our cosmo and poppy seeds. A local grow your own flower farm is sending seeds via post and we're pleased to be supporting a local small business by buying this way. Do check out what your local garden centres and farms are offering, your custom will mean so much to them right now.
For the little people in your life, now is prime sunflower seed sowing time - they like sunny spots with regular watering and do just as well in pots on balconies as in the ground.
Finally, if flowers aren't your thing, April is a great time to get a head start on herbs for your future culinary creations. They love sunny kitchen window sills, window boxes or gardens, and are much better value for money than supermarket packs of herbs which linger in the fridge! You can pick up a pack of seeds for a fraction of the price of a more established plant and the sense of achievement when your BBQ salads are dressed with grown-from-seed herbs? Yes please.
Look after what you've got
Invest a bit of time looking after what your garden already has. With a bit of care and attention now you'll reap the rewards throughout Spring and Summer. Those amazing aforementioned roses in my grandparents garden? Apparently the key is feeding them now whilst they're at their most hungry. Favourite hydrangeas also need cutting back in April - the old heads will have done a great job protecting the plant from frost but now's the time to cut back to new shoots ready for fresh blooms later in the year.
Finally, look after that lawn! Cut it (don't use a blade too low), then use a fork to prod shallow holes in any gappy bits. You can then sprinkle lawn feed and seed, keep it lightly watered and it'll be looking ship shape in no time! If your lawn is already pretty good, my grandad advises using some fertiliser prior to rain to make sure it's super lush come Summer.
Are you using lockdown to get your outdoor spaces looking spic and span? We'd love to see them, why don't you tag us on Instagram?