Welcome to Lifestyle

Your online destination for an active body and stimulated mind.


10 Steps to a Spring Garden

September 23, 2020

If you’ve been dreaming of the perfect spring garden, try these 10 steps to spring gardening success. You’ll be trowelling, planting, and growing in no time at all – simply start at number 1 and work your way through the list! Get ready for beautiful floral colours, nutritious veggies and fruit, and a relaxing space where you can sit back, relax, and smell the roses.

Baby blue eyes (binomial name Nemophila menziesii), a spring wildflower native to California (shallow depth of field), growing in a garden in Illinois

  1. To Enjoy


1. Bright florals


It pays to carefully select the colours you plant in your garden this season – and the colours you’d like to spring up from underground next season. Did you know that looking at red and violet can be mentally stimulating, while orange and yellow are likely to energise your body, brighten your mood, and make you feel happier? In contrast, blue and green offer emotional calm which is partly why indoor plants are so popular. White makes indoor and outdoor living spaces feel larger and airy which makes it a great contrast for spaces with high activity and lots of colour. So, take a moment to think about the emotions you would like to experience in your garden, on your balcony, or in your home and plant a colour palette that will encourage those feelings.


  1. 2. Raise it up

Raised garden beds are a great idea for many reasons. First, they lift your garden to a convenient height for weeding, planting, and harvesting. With planters or raised garden beds, you can avoid kneeling or bending for long periods. Especially if you raise them to the wall! Wall planters are a great solution for herbs or strawberries. They’re also useful for controlling plant-eating bugs like slugs and snails. Choosing a planter with wooden sides will keep your compost-rich garden soil where it belongs during rainfall – at the roots of your plants! Best of all, a raised garden can be positioned wherever you like and works perfectly on a deck or patio. This means that you can take a few steps from your kitchen to the planter and simply snip what you need.


  1. 3. Bring your garden indoors

Elevate your indoor living spaces with a touch of greenery. Simply positioning a few indoor plants throughout your home can create a calm, peaceful vibe. Splashes of green and floral colour are perfect for livening up plain walls and bringing empty corners to life. Many houseplants also purify the air, contributing to the health and wellbeing of your home. People are coming up with all sorts of creative ways to decorate their houses with plants. Terrariums are a hot favourite. These miniature gardens are often stored in glass jars and are easy to make. Once your mini world has been created, they’re low maintenance to keep which means they’re an ideal gift.


  1. 4. Blooming bulbs

Now is the time to plant your summer bulbs. Daffodils may be blooming now but soon you could be enjoying gladioli, calla lilies, dahlias, and tuberous begonias. Easy to grow, bulbs can be put directly into the ground or planted in pots and raised garden bed planters. Have fun planning the colours and varieties that you’ll plant. For a stunning display, select plants with complementary colours and contrasting textures. Frilly shaped petals beside structured varieties can make for an engaging floral display. Remember that the colours you choose will have an impact on your mood and the moods of those around you. Plant bright oranges and yellows for energising, happy emotions and blues, violets, and leafy greens for calming shades that will promote restful passive feelings.


To Eat


  1. 5. Feeling fruity!

A highlight of the warmer months is the variety of fresh fruit that comes available. Plucking fruit directly from a tree branch or bush is one of the most rewarding and relaxing activities you can do. Plus, fresh fruit always tastes better than store-bought! Nectarines, plums, blueberries, strawberries, apples, pears. If you don’t have fruit trees at home, keep an eye out for those in public spaces as you explore your neighbourhood or travel the countryside. If you’re excited to grow fruit at home, consider planting miniature fruit trees in large pots on your patio or balcony at the same time as planting larger fruit tree varieties directly into your garden. The miniature varieties fruit sooner so they’ll give you a rewarding kick while you wait for the larger trees to reach fruiting maturity.


  1. 6. Grow microgreens

These powerful little superfoods may be small in size but they’re big on flavour and packed with nutrients. Essentially infant salad leaves, microgreens are great for your health. They also look fantastic sprinkled on top of dishes and tossed through salads. Cabbage rubies, watercress, radish, dill, celery, fennel, chicory, onion, and carrot are just a few. Incredibly, these baby plants are even easier to grow indoors than outside. Simply sow the seeds into jars and pots using a rich vegetable growing mix, position them on a sunny windowsill or table, and keep them damp with sprayed water. In 7-14 days you’ll be harvesting your microgreen crop. Snip off some sprouts as you need them to liven up your dishes.


  1. 7. Spud-loving growers

Calling all potato lovers! Early spring is the time to plant seed potatoes if you’d like fresh new potatoes on your table for Christmas Day. Potatoes grow well in garden beds, potato bags, large pots, or even in a stack of old tyres. Come harvest time, they store well and are versatile in the kitchen. Baked jacket potatoes topped with sour cream are a fun dish for the whole family. Potato salad is a great option when you’re asked to bring a plate. Top your salad with watercress micro greens and your dish will be fit for the most elegant of occasions. Creamy mashed potatoes complement most meat dishes. And don’t get us started on baked scalloped potatoes – crispy, cheesy, and creamy… yes please!


  1. 8. Go organic

While pest and disease control can be a source of frustration in the garden, harsh chemicals have proven to harm the environment. Wildlife and bees suffer as well as the health of your soil – the soil where you grow the vegetables you plan to eat! For the sake of your health and the environment, why not go organic? Your local garden store will stock a range of organic sprays to choose from. Or try a more homegrown approach by strategically planting species that certain pests avoid near vegetables they often attack. Mint deters spiders and ants while marigolds repel plant lice, mosquitos, and even rabbits! Petunias are a great go-to. They’re the all-rounders of bug deterring and drive away aphids, tomato worms, asparagus beetles, and a variety of other pests.


To Slow Down


  1. 9. Smell the roses

While gardening can fill your fridge and fruit bowl, it’s also a way to create a beautiful outdoor environment where you can unwind and relax. Planting scented flowers like roses can enliven all your senses when you step outdoors. A bonus – the rose is often used as a term for beauty itself! While roses have traditionally been a challenge to grow, modern varieties are much easier to care for. They’re often hardier, have been bred to withstand specific environmental conditions, and can be disease and pest resistant. Standards will provide formal beauty and frame your outdoor space while climbing roses offer colour, texture, and add softness to walls, trellis, and guiding wires.


  1. 10. Get the kids involved

Great news – you don’t have to do the garden all by yourself! Get the kids involved and make gardening a fun activity with a bit of education thrown in. By getting their hands dirty and tending plants, they’ll learn where their food comes from and how easy it is to grow organic produce. It’s easy enough to set aside a pot or corner of the garden for the little ones to make their own. Get them started with some microgreens for rapid results that will retain their interest. Plant some strawberries plants and blueberry trees as well so they can watch them ripen before picking and eating them. Cherry tomatoes are also crowd-pleasers and sunflowers put on a show the kids are sure to love!


Spring gardening can feel busy and it asks us to be industrious for a week or two. But with a little hard work now, you’ll be set for months of gardening success. While these 10 steps are a great start, there’s no limit on what you can do with your garden. Once the planting is done, sow some secondary rows or take some time to sit back enjoy the birdsong while getting crafty with DIY plant tags, birdbaths, and hand-painted pots.