Spring clean your garden

Spring is a time for renewal around the home – a time to throw open our doors, shed our layers, and embrace the outdoors again. Traditionally, it’s a time to clean too, and re-introduce new ideas, features or style in your living spaces, whether indoors or out. It’s a transitional time from old to new.

Here in New Zealand, our own blossoms have started to burst now, and that is the sign it’s time to revive our living spaces. Spring clean your garden and get some tips on what to plant now to make the most of the upcoming delicious warm weather.  

Step one – survey

Grab a cup of coffee, walk around your garden and look out for branches that have fallen down, dead piles of leaves, overgrown plants and weeds.

Step two – remove the detritus

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Remove all of the fallen, dead and insignificant and invasive plants of the garden. Get in there! Garden gloves, rake and possibly a ladder to get to hard to reach dead branches. It’ll feel so good to tidy up, and importantly it will reveal the areas that need a bit of TLC.

Warning: be careful not to remove plants that are dormant for winter and will revive for spring.

Step three  – Plan your spring revival

Your tidy garden will show empty spots, dark corners and spaces that need to be filled. Think about plants that either introduce the necessary texture, colour or an architectural edge, plus fillers in between.

Step four – Embrace the new

Go out and buy your plants. There are three plants available from Palmers and other good nurseries that are good to plant now.

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Good to plant now

A Prunus Felix Jury (Tui Tree) to brighten up the garden. A relatively sunny spot will do, but remember it does get big over time, growing naturally to 6m high x 4m wide (but can be trimmed to approx. 4m high x 2.5m wide), so planting in a spot that will not block your Summer sun in advisable. Plant a hole with a good amount of compost mixed into it. I recommend tacking your tree as it gives extra support from our strong NZ winds.

Edible plants

Everybody loves strawberries, and now is the time to plant. Try get hold of the Strawberry Aromas variety and a good equation on volume is around 5 plants per person. They are so versatile either in a hanging basket, a pot, or raised planter (well-draining situation). Plant in a spot that gets early morning or late afternoon sun - too much instant sun will wilt them. Thoroughly work the compost into the soil before planting. Don’t overwater.

Textural plants

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Loropetalum Chinese or ‘China Pink’ is one of my favorites, flowering prolifically through spring and summer. These are great to fill gaps, are relatively low maintenance, and can leave as a natural bushy shape or can be clipped into a low growing hedge, bringing a burst of colour and life into your garden. These shrubs are slow to grow and need protecting while juveniles, but they are well worth the wait!

Monika Olson