London is full of bright green shoots and buds, birdsong and blossom. Early tulips are already filling the borders with colour and even the shadiest corners look their best, before the trees come into leaf and they can grab a bit of sunlight, filled with flowering woodland plants such as Epimediums, Brunnera and Symphytum. However, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. The garden can quickly get out of control!
Weeds: Annual weeds are already appearing – strike now with a hoe or fork; repeated work will be needed. For large areas of persistent weed, you may need to cover the area with dark fabric or other weed-suppressant barrier to prevent the emergence of new seedlings. Mulching has a similar effect.
Staking: Now is the time to place plant supports in position; tree/shrub twigs or branches give a natural look but there are now many attractive off-the-shelf products made of a variety of substances (metal, plastic or wood), and spiral supports are especially good at supporting plants with heavy heads such as Peonies.
Pruning: As early Spring-flowering shrubs such as forsythia and chaenomeles finish blooming, prune them; Prune out any damaged or reverted evergreen foliage and shape now.
Planting new plants: Now is a good time to replant your borders; It is the right time to move and plant evergreen and deciduous trees, shrubs and hedges, and a good selection of perennials are available.
Summer Bulbs: Plant now! Include Dahlias, Gladioli and Lilies.
Lawns: Give your lawn a spring feed; seed patches that have become bald and remove weeds as they appear.
Anne Fraser and Caroline Streets
07729 835988 & 07930 876348