It’s National Gardening Week! Looking for some top secret solutions to rejuvenating your garden?
We've been digging in the archives for some retro gardening tips and tricks so you don’t have to!
From the brilliant to the bizarre, have a go at these to get the secret garden you've always dreamed of:
DO make a slug pub.
Clean out a tuna can and crack open a beer. Prepare your best Peggy Mitchell impression, pour a little beer in the tuna can and marvel at how the slugs will be drawn away from your precious planters. Just be sure to not pour too much in otherwise it’ll be happy hour for those sweet slime balls! Don’t want to give away your beer? Sugar and baking soda works just as well.
DON’T let the caterpillars eat your veg.
Claim back your crops by cutting up some onion and place inside a squirting bottle to spray your plants with the mixture. Those hungry caterpillars will be so put off by the onion smell that they’ll turn their chompers away from your garden!
You won’t bee-lieve the difference these critters will make to your garden! Bees are vital to our eco system and don’t always feel quite so welcome in our gardens. So throw them a mini garden party by planting their favourite flowers to pollinate! Contrary to popular belief these fluffy flying bugs are actually pretty friendly and don’t sting unless angered to the extreme, so they’ll totally bee-hive themselves in your yard!
DON’T be afraid of a little shade.
Pick your plants based on your environment. If you don’t get tons of sunlight on your part of the cul-de-sac, why not grow some veggies and flowers that’ll thrive? Arugula, kale, lettuce, and spinach only need an estimated 3 – 4 hours of sun per day to flourish. While Violets, Lilly Of The Valley, Foxgloves and even Hellebores can all shade pretty well. Planters and trays will help you pick the warmer sunny spots and move your leafy greens and blooming buds to the right space to get their needed dose of UV.
DO get some fowls’ foul.
This is the gross part so I’m going to be graphic: chicken manure is really good for your plants. I know it sounds horrific and not the type of thing you want when you’re sitting in your English garden waiting for the sun… but it works. Containing nitrogen and potassium, it's a brilliant base fertiliser that nourishes the soil superbly. Pick it up in pellet form for a less smellier and a more absorbent fertiliser.
If you love reading about vintage tips, chances are you probably love that retro style too. So enchant your garden with a few subtle throwback references, it’ll give your back yard an otherworldly time tunnel vibe. Go neo-Victorian with inspiration from the infamous Cottingley Fairies with our ornamental fairy solar lights and Victorian stake lights. Get lost in Austen's era with our stunning English roses bench and mini topiary ball or turn back to the Tudors with a stake light homage to their architecture. Pick a time period and stick with the theme so your garden can achieve a timeless atmosphere.
If you’re living in a flat but craving the greenery of a garden, you can still enjoy planting indoors! Line a mason jar or empty coffee jar with moss and some pebbles for drainage, fill with compost and start planting your seeds! Spider plants are lovely for apartments and tend to produce more baby plants for you to decorate your home with. Growing herbs is also a brilliant way to add some flavour to your food and your home, our cute little rustic planters would look great filled with basil or thyme on your kitchen window sill. The best part? They’re all really low maintenance so even the planting novices and those short on time can develop their green fingers and thumbs.