Springtime is the season for fabulous flowers and shows bursting with creative ideas. Why not bring the outdoors in, and take inspiration from some of this season’s flower displays to brighten your PegasusLife home.
World-famous Chelsea Flower Show, from 21 to 25 May, is a highlight of Britain’s horticultural calendar with amazing award-winning garden designs and perfect plants on display.
The Royal Horticultural Society’s other shows around the country include Chatsworth (5-9 June), Hampton Court (1-7 July) and Wisley (3-8 September). All are guaranteed to provide some flower power to every budding gardener.
Whether you’re an aspiring Monty Don, or just keen to add a splash of colour to your outdoor space, these events can really help you to you get creative and make the best of whatever space you have, whether it is a large garden or shared patio.
Urban gardening can be exceedingly rewarding. Sprucing up a few window boxes or planting up a few pots for the patio is all it takes to enhance your home. It can also give you a great sense of wellbeing, just being out of doors in the fresh air, enjoying the good weather and a colourful splash of flowers. If you’re looking for something easier to maintain, choose smaller containers and plant them up with a few seeds or bulbs.
Consider your garden space
If you’re planning to spruce up your green space this summer, it’s wise to plan ahead. Think about the space you have available. Where is the best sunlight? Could you set up a seating area for relaxing and entertaining?
Outside wall space is perfect for flowering climbers - such as wisteria, clematis and honeysuckle. These can also be planted in troughs or pots in smaller gardens or balconies and trained along painted trellis or wire.
No matter how challenging it may seem, there’s potential for you to create your own oasis of beauty and calm.
Pots or containers?
If space is limited, you might choose plants suitable for pots and containers. They come in many shapes and sizes, from glazed ceramic and terracotta to contemporary galvanised metal, sturdy plastic and traditional wood. There’s a huge range available from local garden centres, nurseries, hardware store and online - choose your containers to reflect your garden design style.
After planning which plants and what type of containers will give you the best results, go shopping - country markets are good sources for quality plants as well as garden centres and nurseries. Annuals and half-hardy perennials are a safe bet, although most shrubs, climbers, herbaceous perennials, grasses and even fruit and vegetables can be grown in pots and troughs. You could even plant olive, lemon or fig trees in large terracotta pots to give a Mediterranean feel but check the planting tips on the pot labels for suitability before you buy. If you want to plan well ahead, order from seed catalogues or plant bulbs early next year for great displays.
When planting into pots, use the recommended type of soil; create drainage by making sure there is a hole in the bottom of your pot so that plants aren’t over-watered; and learn which plants do well in specific conditions, such as full sun or shade so that you can position them well. Match up your plant pots with a saucer and place it underneath to help contain the water.
When you’re ready to start work on your new-look outdoor space, it’s a good idea to find a focal point, such as outdoor seating, a patio set or perhaps a water feature.
Surround this with pots of scented and colourful blooms - annuals such as geraniums, petunias and fuchsias are favourites in summer, but alliums, agapanthus, delphiniums, lavender, lupins, roses and variegated shrubs also make for attractive displays.
Walls and trees are also perfect places to hang outdoor lights. Whether your preference is for strings of fairy lights or solar-operated orbs and lanterns, you can transform your outdoor space after dark into a magical refuge. Similarly, stylish lanterns or tea light holders will create a relaxing mood at night.
Install an awning or invest in a stylish parasol umbrella to provide welcome shade in the sunshine and allow you to sit comfortably undercover. Add cosy blankets and colourful cushions to really create an inviting outdoor living space.
When it’s complete, pour yourself a Pimm’s and toast the joys of urban gardens - cheers!
For motivation and lots of brilliant tips - as well the RHS shows - consider a visit to a local horticultural show or nearby National Trust gardens. Visit the National Trust for information.
Even a trip to your garden centre can set you on the right path to success - they have great displays of seasonal plants, rich with colour and scent, knowledgeable staff to give expert advice and some even offer a garden design service too.
Gardening magazines, books and gardening websites, such as RHS are great sources of inspiration, with plenty of eye-catching solutions to help you choose a design that really appeals - from sweetly-scented country cottage gardens to zen-like contemporary styles.
For more inspiration, visit Gardener’s World.