Plants and gardens have always been a natural tonic, and all the time we’ve had to spend indoors over the past year has made the hours we spend outside more precious than ever.
If you don’t have a garden, it's worth taking the time to stop and appreciate the beauty of nature wherever you can find it – and if you are lucky enough to have your own outside space, then National Gardening Week (April 26 - May 2) is designed to help you make the most of your great outdoors.
Here are some ideas for things you can be doing in the garden in and around National Gardening Week.
1 Plant up window boxes and hanging baskets but bring inside if late frosts hit exposed gardens. Quick growing cosmos, nasturtiums, calendula and zinnias are especially rewarding.
2 Prune camellias once they’ve finished flowering to encourage greater displays next year.
3 Early May is the time to sow annuals and wildflowers.
4 Spring clean borders and plant bulbs and tubers like dahlias and gladioli for late summer colour.
5 Feed the lawn and treat any moss or weed patches. Start to regularly mow the grass once a week. Consider leaving a patch unmown to create your own meadow – perfect for wildflowers and bees.
6 Keep putting seed out for the birds, and start growing a broad selection of bee-friendly flowers and shrubs; include annuals such as cosmos, perennials like asters and campanula, and flowering shrubs like Mahonia japonica and rosemary.
7 Plant tomatoes under cover and get your garlic, onion, shallots, and potatoes into the ground.
8 Stake perennials before it’s too late. Create attractive willow or hazel structures.
9 Start spraying roses.
10 If you have a greenhouse, clean the glass to make the most of the increasing light levels.