How does your garden grow?

Round & About

Spring, even the sound of the word lifts your spirits. Little shoots of colour start to emerge and with it hope for the warmer months ahead, so get digging and clearing and start getting your garden in shape

Getting your garden ready for spring should be a pleasure rather than a chore, so it’s time to dig deep and get some spade work in and you’ll reap the rewards later.

Even for professionals such as our expert Cathie Welch, kick starting your garden for spring is no easy task: “Gardening is a real challenge these days and every season will be different.” So where to start? Cathie advises ‘mulch, mulch, mulch’. “The most important thing any gardener can do is to improve the soil. A thick mulch of home-made garden compost, well-rotted manure or suitable compost that is peat free.

“It’s a huge subject but anything that is not wood chip or multi-purpose potting compost should be ok but check to avoid expensive mistakes. A thick mulch will keep in the moisture, suppress germinating weeds, feed the plants, prevent soil compaction from walking on it as well as looking fabulous.”

Having done the ground work, you need to turn your attention to your plants health, which means pruning and training. This time of year is especially important for roses to ensure a fragrant colourful abundance in the summer months to come – make sure you know whether you have climbers, ramblers, bush, shrub and prune accordingly, says Cathie.

And it’s not just roses that need some TLC, “Wisteria is another tricky one that needs its spur prune by mid March as do apples and pears,” Cathie continues, “many other plants can be cut hard back like Spireaea, Hypericum, Buddleia and all the Dogwood Cornus to name but a few. Avoid pruning Acers until they are in full leaf and never prune plums and other stone fruits until the summer. Evergreens should ideally wait and be especially vigilant of nesting birds. When you prune consider making piles or a dead hedge if you have space rather than burning or binning.”

For many of us our lawns are the crowning glory. This month is the ideal time to sow a new lawn or repair worn patches. As the month progresses, it may even be time to cut the lawn again. Some lawn basics – set the mower blades high to avoid scalping. Rake (scarify) the lawn to get rid of debris, dead grass and moss. Aerate badly drained areas of the lawn with a hollow tined fork. Try to avoid walking on waterlogged lawns and working in sodden borders to avoid soil compaction.

Cathie warns against neglecting your lawn. “If you want a green striped lawn then that is hard work scarifying, aerating, top dressing and seeding at this time of year. Think about whether you can let areas grow a little longer or create a meadow (not easy) but you are creating diverse habitats.”

And finally, to planting. Cathie says: “Take time to enjoy the bulbs, emerging shoots and the warming sun.” Find out more advice and about her services at

For over 30 years, the team of skilled professionals at Kingston Landscape Group has been providing exceptional service and excellence in landscaping and garden maintenance to a diverse range of clients. Whatever the size of the garden, they prioritise high standards and attention to detail to ensure your garden looks beautiful throughout the year. Visit and call 0208 893 8992 to discuss your ideas.

After the essentials are done you can get creative and start planting from trees and shrubs to perennials, roses and climbers. The garden centres are full of them just waiting to bloom to life as the seasons progress.

The spring flowering bulbs carefully planted in autumn will be raising their heads and once the tulips and daffs start to go over, it’ll be time to deadhead. Compost the blooms but leave the foliage to die down naturally in order to feed the bulb for next year’s flowering.

The experts at Squires Garden Centres with branches across Surrey have advice on hardy annuals too which can be sown from seed in late March, either where they are to flower or in trays and pots to be transplanted later.

Plants bring a garden to life. Whether it’s planting ideas for a new area or refreshing existing beds and borders, Camelia Ann Gardens can create you a stunning plan, blending colours, shapes and textures that will give you interest throughout the seasons. They can also source the plants and help to plant them. Contact 07977 569297 or find out more at

It’s not all about flowers and an array of colour at this time of year, in the vegetable patch onion sets and shallots can be planted now. “Put seed potatoes in a cool, light position to chit (sprout) for planting later. Early varieties can be planted towards the end of the month,” say Squires. “Broccoli, cabbage, kale, parsnips, peas, radishes and spinach can be sown outside towards the end of March and covered with cloches, or a little later in the season you can buy young plants to grow on. Many varieties of tomatoes and chillies can be sown now in the greenhouse, on a windowsill or in a conservatory.”