I love our garden especially in summer but it takes so much to keep up with all the maintenance. With busy family life I find it hard to keep on top of all the housework never mind keeping the garden tidy too. Our back garden is quite big and on four levels because we live on a hill and the front garden has a large planted area too. The old man that lived here before us was an avid gardener and put a lot of work into making the garden a wonderful place but he was retired and lived alone. There were a few years when I did the bear minimum as with the boys being so little and needing all my attention and then a couple of years when I spent all my free time studying, there was no time for me to do more than cut the grass and do a bit of weeding.
In this post I want to share with you my tips for keeping on top of maintaining your garden in the midst of busy family life.
Once I start to cut our grass in the Spring, the first cut I sort out all the edges and tidy it up and then try to cut it again at least once every ten days (weather permitting). This means it doesn’t then become a massive job overtime, probably 15 minutes at most including getting the mower set up and put away again. Obviously this depends on how much grass you have and if it’s on the front as well as the back. Or how about installing some artificial grass? If we get to move house in the next few months, I would love to do this so the grass stays really lush and green in all weathers and doesn’t get full of moss and weeds.
I hate weeds so much! I feel like I spend my whole life pulling them up. My tip here is to use do a little bit at a time. Concentrate on a small area and really clear it and then another day do a little bit more in a different area. You can get the kids to help with this bit. If you have to clear paths too, try to pull up as many as you can and then use weed killer to kill off the rest. I just think it makes the area around your house look so much cleaner and tidier if there are no weeds.
I pay the council just under £40 a year for a brown bin for garden waste which is collected fortnightly from April to December and means that I don’t have to put all the garden rubbish in our normal bin.
3. Plants & Flowers:
I don’t claim to know loads about plants, I picked up most things from my Mum despite being so reluctant in my teenage years and professing over and over that gardening was boring! Assess your garden to know where the sun moves in the day and where there is most light and shade. When you go to pick plants, look at where it is recommended they are positioned. I also like that I have a lot of perennials in my garden which means that they come up again every year. During October/November you can cut everything back and tidy up and then in Spring they will all start to grow again. Bulbs are also great too (things like tulips and daffodils add lovely colour).
Trees should be cut in winter when the weather is cold and dry so that disease doesn’t get in to the branches. If you can manage to get out then and trim them, February is probably the best time. We have some small fruit trees in our garden and I like to cut them back a little so they don’t hang over the path too much. Our other trees at the bottom of the garden go crazy each year so we really cut them back and it doesn’t affect their growth the next year.
5. Vegetables & Herbs:
Why not get the children involved in growing some vegetables and herbs? Herbs like rosemary, sage, mint, thyme and lavender are very easy to grow, you can find small inexpensive plants at the garden centre and put these straight into the garden. Once established they don’t need much water or maintenance. Just cut back in the winter and they will grow again in Spring. I have found parsley difficult to grow as it just gets eaten straight away by the slugs and snails even if I put pellets down. Make sure you buy slug pellets certified for organic use if you are growing vegetables.
Easy vegetables to grow with children are tomatoes, courgettes, peas and salad like rocket or lettuce. You can grow all these from seed and it’s great for children to learn where their food comes from and how long it actually takes to grow. In our garden we also have raspberries and blackberries. If you can be patient, by planting a couple of stalks, in a couple of years you will get a good crop and the taste is amazing, we just eat them straight off the bush. Remember with blackberries that the flowers appear on last years growth of branches so don’t cut them back too much.
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post and found these tips useful. If you have anymore to add to the list I would love to read them, so pop them in the comments below.
*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own*