How to spring clean your garden to make the most of your outdoor space

Spring cleaning isn't just for your house. It can be for your garden too, especially if you haven't used your outdoor space all winter. Here are some quick and easy ways to refresh your backyard to make the most of it this Spring...

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Just like our homes, after the long winter, our gardens often need a Spring cleaning. And, with the long bank holiday weekend over Easter and the school holidays, March or April is the ideal time to tackle your garden each year.

This means you’ll have your outdoor space ready to enjoy whenever the weather is warm enough. Whether you have a patio, courtyard, decking, garden or even a balcony, if it’s tidy and clear, you can start having your tea break or dinner outside on balmy days this Spring and Summer, and really make the most of your exterior space.

Clear the clutter

I personally find that my garden becomes a dumping ground over the Winter. Any cardboard packaging from deliveries has probably been bunged in the shed and anything that I’ve planned to take to the recycling centre just piles up in the outbuilding. You may even still have a dried-out Christmas tree at the bottom of your garden!

So, the first step is to clear the clutter from the garden. Check inside and around outbuildings; I find all sorts of things have been dumped behind my little tool shed throughout the year and then never get moved.

Decluttering a garden can be a particularly overwhelming task, especially if you’ve got a big plot, or lots of outbuildings and junk to clear. You can get help from a garden clearance company to make the clean-up process easier and get help to clear overgrown areas. This will save you lots of time as they will do all the work to get your garden back into a tidy state so you can start enjoying it again this Spring.

Plus, it can be difficult to actually remove clutter from your garden if you only have a small vehicle – or a particularly nice car that you don’t want to mess up. The clearance company will bring a trailer and all the equipment needed to get the job done. Whether it’s removing broken benches, rusting bicycles or old prams, they can remove any rubbish that has accumulated in your garden without the need for you to hire a skip, which can be very costly.

This is an important first step in getting your outdoor space ready for you to enjoy during the Spring and Summer, so the sooner you’ve cleared out the clutter and cut back the overgrowth, you can start to use the garden more on nice days.

Pruning and weeding

Now that you’ve got a clear and tidy garden, you can see what the plants are doing. If the garden clearance company have also cut back overgrowth and taken away branches and brambles, you might even have more space to add extra plants – that’s when you can enjoy a fun trip to the garden centre to choose some new foliage or blooms.

But before that, you can get started on tidying up your borders and planters. Make sure that there are no weeds before you add anything new to a pot or flowerbed. This is the ideal time of year to spot weeds because they’ll be starting to grow and will usually be at a stronger phase than your other ‘proper’ plants.

It’s also the time to prune certain plants, such as Cornus ‘dogwood’. We’ve got some of these bushes in our garden and the bright red and yellow branches are ideal for adding a splash of colour in the winter. But you need to make sure that you cut them right back before they start to come into leaf in the spring so that they can grow bushy again this year. 

There are plenty of other plants that need pruning back before they start to regrow in the spring so do your research and check how much to trim off your shrubs and bushes. If we didn’t trim our Buddleja every March or April, it would get really top-heavy and overshadow the whole garden.

Again, pruning large plants and trees often results in a lot of garden waste that you need to get rid of, so it might be a job for a garden clearance team. They can cut up big branches so that they fit into their trailer and take away all those trimmings. When we pruned our garden, we had branches lying around for weeks until they could fit into the green bin, which just added to the clutter in the garden.  

Also, it’s time to give your lawn its first trim of the year, so dig out that mower or strimmer and get cutting. That is, unless you’re going for the wild meadow look in some areas, in which case you can leave it to grow long and you can even help it along by sowing some meadow seeds so that it will look its best in the summer.

Refresh outdoor furniture

When the weather turns colder in the Autumn, that’s when we store our outdoor cushions away and pack up any garden furniture for the Winter. We bundle up parasols and put everything into sheds or garages in anticipation of the cold weather. 

If left outside during those Winter months, it’s possible for garden furniture to deteriorate and require repair. Even if they’ve been packed away in outbuildings, you may still find that cushions are stained or parasols are dappled with mildew, especially if they had been put away with even the smallest amount of moisture on them.

So now’s the time to spot-clean those marks off your outdoor upholstery. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to carefully clean away mould and stains. Choosing a suitable cleaning product with a lovely scent will also help to refresh your cushions and get rid of that musty, stored-in-the-shed smell.  

Any furniture that has been left outside over the Winter will probably require attention. Check that they are still sturdy and that all bolts are secure. Check for peeling paintwork or splinters of wood caused by ice getting into the structure of the timber.

Give everything a good brush down to get rid of dust and cobwebs. Then you can give wooden pieces a fresh coat of paint if needed – benches and outdoor chairs look lovely in vibrant colours, just make sure you use the correct outdoor paint to protect the wood for the coming season. Here’s a quick video to show you how I upcycled my old Adirondack chair below.

I hope that this will give you the inspiration and motivation to get started on your own garden spring clean this week. Please share your own gardening tips in the comments below, I’d love to hear about your decluttering hacks and pruning advice.

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This article is a sponsored collaboration. The pink links in the content indicate a sponsored link or information source. The blog post reflects my own experience and the sponsor hasn’t had any control over my content 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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