Feature from Bath Life

Outstanding Outside

Now more than ever the value of having a garden or outside space is being realised. From landscape projects to smaller updates, 2021 is all about maximising our outdoor spaces. 

Whether you are looking for a total landscaping overhaul or more tailored tweaks The Bath Gardener is here to help with garden design ideas to inspire you whatever your budget, garden space or experience, each one guaranteed to add that wow factor, increase your curb appeal and almost definitely add some value to your property. Win, win, win. 

With a little bit of vision and some hard work now, you will be rewarded tenfold come the sunnier months when the sun is over the yardarm. *disclaimer The Bath Gardener is not responsible for any poor weather and will most certainly be out in it all.

House Keys 

The key to starting is to make a note of your garden’s outlook, its position, access and soil composition. Where does the sun rise and set, and which parts are sun soaked and where never sees the light of day? How do you currently spend your time outdoors and how would you ideally like to use your outside space; for that post work G&T, or weekends spent around the BBQ with the family? All this information will help shape what you do next.

Once you’ve lived in your space a little here’s some suggestions to help get you started:

The Personal Touch

It’s never been easier to make your garden an extension of your home and add that personal touch with the help of landscaping experts (*waves). By ensuring any paving or decking is the same level as your indoor flooring, you can blur any lines between the interior and exterior. There is good reason for that expression “bringing the outside in”.

Level Up

Whilst a flat lawn may be easy to mow, and we’d never knock that!, adding levels to your garden can add interest that takes the eye on a journey adding the illusion of more space. Soften those edges with clever planting and pay attention to your colour choices; for example, grey and white stone look great with purple and white flora.

Oh Sit Down

Decked entertaining areas offer a cost effective solution to help level the slopes of Bath. Decking can also incorporate split levels or steps which suit areas that see heavy footfall and with recent developments in decking materials they are easier to keep clean and not so slippery when wet.

Trees are great

Did you know that just watching trees lowers your blood pressure? Fact. As well as this health benefit you are also helping the environment, our local wildlife and leaving a legacy for those who follow behind you. Mature trees make a great starting point for any garden project, adding shade, an anchor for a swing, hammock or hanging lanterns. And newer additions can add a screen to filter out noise or air pollution. 

Wall this way

Living walls are currently very popular in garden designs, adding vertical planting (great for smaller spaces), creating a colourful or aromatic feature. Posts, trellis and fencing can be so much more than a way to mark your boundaries (although they can be an excellent way to keep the neighbours out!) Add timber posts, for example, throughout your garden to add interest to borders and paths, to frame special plants or seated areas.

Go all out out

Soon someone will report on the astronomical rise in the sale of outbuildings as many rush to create extra room for a home office or yoga studio and they are certainly perfect for entertaining family and friends, when that is allowed again. In the meantime if your considering one we would suggest getting on the waiting list now. The great news is that planning permission is not usually required and we can help with the base installation. 

The Bath Gardener is Donny, aka Neil Donovan, and his team have a reputation for “Good Honest Graft” alongside gardening expertise and tea based banter. Tweet him @thebathgardener with any garden related questions, add the hashtag #askTBG

You Reap What You Sow.

This time last year thousands more people discovered the sanctuary of their gardens and experienced the soothing balm of nature as an antidote to lockdown. 

The astronomical rise in seed sales saw many having a go at “grow your own” whilst others found a new space for physical activity. Add to this the well documented mental health benefits and its no surprise that last year gardening came in ahead of cooking, exercising and reading as the second most popular lockdown activity!

This year is set to be no different as our green spaces continue to be vital, providing us with time out, purpose, health benefits, a place to meet, food, gifts, and sensual pleasures, all in equal measures.

As the amount of time we spend at home increases, maximising our outside spaces becomes increasingly significant no matter what the size!

So, now is the time to invest a few hours in the garden, in order to bank those beer-in-hand BBQ moments later in the year. With a little bit of hard work now, you will reap the benefits in the months to come and the good news is that not all gardening tasks need a professional (but Hello!… if you think you might) and the really good news is you’ve still got plenty of time to make hay as the South West sun gets her merry hat on.

The Bath Gardener Team, have put together their top-ten list of seasonal gardening jobs, perfect for the Bath climate through-out late Feb and March.

  1. Feed & nourish your beds! Whether flower or vegetable, work them over removing weeds then add a layer of compost or well-rotted manure to prepare for the growing season ahead. Feed your shrubs and hedges with a slow-release fertiliser by lightly forking it into the soil. Yes, a bit of hard graft to start with but swap this for a Joe Wicks work-out and kill two birds with one (Bath)stone.
  2. Remember all those rambling untamed roses and shrubs you had at the end of last year?  Put supports in place for them and any other climbers NOW while you can see them clearly and sit back and feel like a pro later in the season. Now is also a great time to plant new shrubs and climbers.
  3. Roses are already starting to appear and will need pruning to encourage strong and new growth.  Feed your roses with a well balanced fertiliser, available from your local, friendly garden-centre.
  4. Those secateurs are going to get a good work out-this month! Hone those lockdown haircut skills and cut back dead foliage from perennials and ornamental grasses making way for new growth.
  5. Sow now for summer scents. Get ahead and start the seeds off in moist compost on a windowsill and move to a cooler but frost-free area as soon as you see the first leaves. Keep seeds and seedlings covered at night to prevent visits from mice and place young plants in a cool place (outside in a porch, for instance). Plant out into well-prepared soil in spring after the last frost.
  6. Spring is all about the bulbs, but as they start to fade pick off any developing seed-heads on daffodils and other spring bulbs, leaving the foliage to die back naturally and the goodness to return back into the bulb. An easy and satisfying tidy-up.
  7. Plant lilies and other summer-flowering bulbs in pots and borders and whilst you are at it, add a top-soil re-fresh to all your pots, containers and window boxes too.
  8. If your interest is in the veg patch, then there is plenty for you to do. Plant those potatoes, shallots and onions now, and sow tomatoes, chillies and peppers indoors.
  9. Sow native wildflower seeds in trays, to produce plants for your own mini-meadow, which are also ideal for window boxes and small people alike.
  10. And wait for it…..yes for those who love a bowling green lawn, with caution and if required, you can now start to mow on any dry days, just make sure you set those blades high for the first few cuts!

The Bath Gardener (Donny, aka Neil Donovan) and his team have a reputation for ‘Good Honest Graft’ alongside gardening expertise and tea based banter.

Don’t forget to tweet us @thebathgardener or find us on Facebook if you have any questions you’d like answered or proud gardening triumphs you’d like to share. Add the hashtag #askTBG for a quick response