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It’s Spring at Last!

It might still be raining but the clocks have gone forward and the temperature is definitely rising

If you were organised last autumn and planted your snowdrops crocuses and daffodils you have already been enjoying some bursts of colour on the cloudy days we’ve had in 2024.

But it’s not too late to enjoy the benefits of planting bulbs.They tend to be cheaper than fully grown plants, they have good root structures to cope better with the climate and with little effort they will bloom year after year and multiply to fill the space available. Alliums are still available and there are different sizes to bloom from May until July in containers or straight into the soil. Most bulbs prefer good drainage so be sure to add some potting grit and like to be planted 3 times the depth of their height.

See Mel Darvill  proving you can have an amazing garden whatever the size or aspect and where her alliums are ‘ always a sensation’.

Dahlia tubers can be planted now and will take you right through until the end of summer with a variety of colours to bring stature and beauty to borders and containers. Once they start to shoot be sure to provide them with a support, whether it be decorative or just a cane. Then with frequent dead heading they should bloom right through until September.

If you are looking for plants that require even less maintenance than bulbs then succulents and alpines are very much on trend. The textures and colour of their foliage make them very attractive as well as their blooms. They can be planted in shallow pots or direct into the ground. They like to be well drained so should have a base of grit, then a layer of peat free compost mixed with alpine grit and topped with a layer of grit, they will brighten up any small space and can tolerate shade and sunshine.

With land at such a premium new build homes are getting even smaller gardens. But there is a growing movement to show just how much can be grown in a small courtyard garden or even on a balcony. Think vertical: whether it be steps, ladders, old pallets, hanging pots/baskets or outside shelves on buildings. Even commercial growers of fruit and veg are finding vertical growing an economical use of space and water as excess water drains down to plants below. Look up vertical veg to see how to make a growing ladder and grow in containers.

Mark Ridsdill recommends Tromba squash, Nasturtiums, Chillies, Oriental greens, Runner beans, Camelot Nero, Chard, Pea and Broad Beans shoots, Tomatoes and mixed Salad Leaves as the ten best crops for small spaces.

For inspiration follow Alessandro at or YouTube SpicyMoustache  who started his passion for gardening and feeding himself with a small 8 X 5 m garden.

Lawn Care

If, after the never ending rainfall we are experiencing your lawn is looking far from its best and the thought of starting the weekly mowing isn’t appealing, then you will be pleased that many modern gardeners recommend leaving it until mid May to allow natural wild flowers to grow and for the grass to re establish its root structure to help it survive a summer drought. However, as Monty Don recommends any moss really needs to be raked out, then using a garden fork or scarifier make holes in the ground to help drainage and if you have a lot of moss he suggests filling the holes with a mixture of sharp sand and peat free compost.

As always if you are renting a property through us and would like advice on maintaining your garden please email where we will be pleased to help.

Malcolm Thomas

Founder at Malcolms Estate Agents

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