Clever ideas to get you growing this Spring

Make the most of your outdoor space this season

Whatever the size of your space, style or budget, there are plenty of ways to create a practical and stylish garden filled with colour and interest. On a mission to get everyone growing again this Spring, no matter the size of your garden, The Lady has spoken to the experts at Dobbies to share their clever ideas to leave you inspired.

“However big or small your garden is, there are plenty of things you can do to get it looking its best. From growing your own fruit and vegetables, to revitalising kitchen waste and giving it a new lease of life for super speedy, and savvy, gardening essentials – a little goes a long way! Some very simple updates can change the whole look and feel of your home’s exterior, meaning an extra living space to relax in and enjoy. Gardening is something that can be enjoyed by everyone and as the weather starts to improve, it’s a brilliant excuse to get outside and make the most of what’s on your doorstep.” - Dobbies Horticultural Director, Marcus Eyles.

Regrow vegetables from kitchen scraps 

Did you know you can reduce kitchen waste and help the environment is to regrow some of your veg from the scraps you might usually throw away. It’s easy, fun and can save you money.

  • Spring onions and celery are two kitchen staples that are easy to regrow from their root base with a couple of inches of stem attached. Slice across the stems, then stand them root down in a shallow glass of water. When new roots appear, plant them out in the garden to grow on.  
  • Exotic vegetables such as pak-choi can be re-grown in a shallow dish of water, by keeping the young inner leaves intact with the root base.   
  • Pot up left-over nobbly sections of ginger root for an exotic pot plant that will be a great talking point.  
  • For chillies and sweet peppers, collect their seeds and plant them directly into fresh compost. Then leave them to grow on a warm sunny windowsill, watering regularly.   
  • Re-pot used basil or coriander plants from the supermarket to give them a new lease of life. Or grow new plants from stem cuttings in a jar of water, for a supply of your favourite herbs to use in your cooking.  

Make compost from your kitchen waste  

It’s easy to recycle your kitchen scraps into rich garden compost that will add a valuable boost to your pots and borders. Keep a kitchen caddy next to the kitchen sink, where it’s easy to throw in your vegetable and fruit waste, peelings, juicing pulp, coffee grounds and teabags (double check they are plastic free first) and crushed eggshells. For convenience, line your caddy with a compostable bag, lifting the bag and all its contents out when full, otherwise rinse your caddy thoroughly between fills. Avoid meat or anything dairy as these can soon turn smelly and attract unwanted visitors.  

Add the contents to your compost heap or bin, located in a shady corner of the garden. Look to have a garden heap of at least 1m x 1m. Or if your space is limited, a compost bin also works really well, generally open ended at the base to allow earth worms to enter and speed up the process. Alternate with layers of garden waste such as clippings, twigs and leaves to keep it aired, or use unwaxed brown cardboard packaging. 

Recycled gardening essentials  

Waste not want not, there are plenty of extra uses for food and drink containers before you put them into the recycling bin.

  • Milk bottle watering can – simply use a sharp knife or small screwdriver to pop a few small holes into the screw top lid, fill with water, screw back on and voila – you have yourself a homemade watering can. You don’t even need to worry about washing the milk bottle out first, as calcium is crucial for plant growth and encourages less pests, so a little extra from the diluted water will do plants no harm 
  • Egg box growing – start small seeds off or grow cress off in empty cardboard egg cartons, simply cut off the top of the box, poke some holes in the bottom of each section and fill with soil, planting seeds as per their instructions. A quick and easy way to get growing. 
  • Canned herbs – A store cupboard essential, clean empty tin cans and upcycle for a small garden pot for growing. Remove the outer label and either leave as plain aluminium cans, adding an industrial look to gardens, or paint in your desired colour. Safely drill a hole in the bottom for drainage – or use the tins as a pot cover. They are the ideal size to grow kitchen herbs. 

Contain your style  

A very easy way to change the overall style of your garden is outdoor pots. These can often be an afterthought to the plants and flowers that will live inside them but can make a huge difference to lift a space very quickly.  

For a country garden feel, use terracotta, stone, and soft neutrals, as these will all make greenery really pop. A laid-back coastal theme can be created with metal and navy-blue pots or add a vibrant exotic vibe with sunshine yellow and cherry reds. Super simple, impactful, and cost-effective!  

Ready set paint  

One of the most cost-effective ways to instantly transform a space is to paint an exterior wall or fence. Neutral colours like whites or creams will lift a dull area and create a sense of space. Perfect for shady gardens, plants and flowers will pop against a white backdrop. If you have a south-facing plot, avoid using bright white shades as it will be blinding. 

Take a seat  

If you’re tight on space as well as wanting to cut down on spends, a folding bistro table is a brilliant solution. Easy to move around your garden, store and even pack up in the car to take camping, a bright bistro set will add a pop of colour and personality to any space.

If you prefer leaving your garden in the hands of professionals, our specialist recruitment team will find you the perfect candidate; from Housekeepers to Gardeners, Nannies to Carers, we source only the most exceptional candidates for your home. Contact our friendly team today: