Easter in the garden

April 22, 2011

Flowers, Ale & Garden Lovers…

Well we have enjoyed some unseasonably warm weather of late and no doubt many of you have already dusted off your BBQ’s; hopefully my tips on ‘what to do now’ in your gardens will help you prioritise your tasks over the Easter break.

1. The language of flowers:

  • Love them or hate them, Lilies always add a great burst of colour during the summer and, if you plant up your bulbs into pots now, will make the perfect portable display when needed and fill any flower beds looking a little scarce or lacking in colour
  • Now is also the time to plant sunflower seeds in the garden directly where you want them to grow.  This is a great way of stimulating your children’s interest in horticulture and look out for local sunflower challenges, such as this one to raise money for a hospice: nurturestore.co.uk/sunflower-club.

2. Visit Tring Brewery for their award-winning cask ales

Join one of their tours or visit them at Tring Farmers Market, Wendover or Tring Canal Festivals or perhaps if music is your ‘thang’ then at the Spirit of Tring in early June.  This is our recommendation for a highly successful visit:
  •  Sample as many different types of ale as Tring Brewery can offer
  •  Choose your favourite(s) to take home (taxi of course)
  •  Enjoy – see weather and BBQ above!
You can find out more about Tring Brewery at www.tringbrewery.co.uk. Alternatively, you may enjoy the 'Trail and Ale' 16 mile walk at Ashridge Estate, Berkhamsted, on Saturday 30 April.  Dogs are welcome (on a lead), learn more about the estate and end at the local pub to enjoy, what will be by then, a well-deserved drink!  Find out more by calling: 01442 851227.  Just one note, it does start at 8am, perhaps it should have been called ‘H’ale and Hearty’ instead?!

3. Round and round the garden...

You may choose to do this on a different day to the brewery tour or perhaps before but, either way, below is a very quick and simple list of jobs that will need doing around your garden this month:
  • Treat timber fences, trellis and posts where needed
  • Install water butts to all down pipes on your house (or as many as you can)
  • Clean pond pumps and filters
  • And as the past winter was a real challenge for our lawns, scarify and/or rake out all of the dead thatch and moss, and re-seed the bare patches now that the soil is starting to warm up.
Looking for a gift for someone who likes gardens?  Then look no further than this Special Places To Stay in Britain for Garden Lovers by Alastair Sawday (RRP £19.99) but also available from Telegraph Books at £17.99, plus £1.25 p&p.  You can call 0844 871 1515 or visit www.books.telegraph.co.uk. And finally, the National Gardens Scheme, gardens open for charity, is now well underway.  The NGS aims to raise around £2.5m a year for nursing and caring charities such as Macmillan Cancer support, Marie Curie and Perennial (the Gardeners Royal Benevolent Society) to name but a few.  To find a garden near you, visit www.ngs.org.uk and perhaps enjoy one of their afternoon teas! Enjoy your Easter break in the garden. Helen

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