Anita Morton - Growing Gardens
Ready for Christmas
If the whole tribe is descending on your place for the Christmas celebrations this year, you want the place to look good. While curmudgeonly relatives will no doubt always find something to complain about, a little effort now will mean that it isnt your garden even if you have very little time or skill in that direction and its all looking a bit grim now.
First, the lawn it may just be an expanse of mown weeds, but it can still look okay. Dont use a weed killer or weed-and-feed product now, as you cant count on the gaps left by dead weeds growing over in time. A handful of sulphate of ammonia per square metre, scattered now over thoroughly wet grass and then well watered in, will give your lawn that bright green glow. This is the quick fix it is much better to use a slow-release organic product as your regular lawn food. Trim all the edges along paths and garden beds the week before people arrive, and of course, keep mowing.
Clear all the paths no leaves, overhanging plants or algae. If you have a removable clothes line, make a mental note to stash it in the shed for the duration. The same goes for all the spare pots, garden tools and toys. Get a skip if you have to, but do away with any piles of building materials, wire, odd car parts etc (the things that might come in handy one day). If the fence has sagging or missing palings, fix it.
Use a high-pressure cleaner to scrub down hard surfaces. Anything that looks especially dingy can be freshened up with a coat of paint this can do wonders for wrought-iron railings, paling fences and elderly wooden outdoor furniture.
Next week Ill deal with perking up the plants.