Well, we may have only just entered February which despite Valentine’s and Pancake Day tends to be somewhat of a bleak month, statistically being the coldest month of the entire year. But don’t dread it’s also the shortest month, and March will bring with it the first day of spring.
This makes February a wonderful time of the year to start thinking about what to do with the garden in order to ensure that things are ready for when the warmer weather arrives.
To give you some ideas of things to do now here’s our rundown of what we think the biggest garden trends of 2017 will be.
If you’re anything like us, your Facebook friend’s feed will be jammed with articles and think pieces warning that bees our dying at an alarming rate. Thanks to changes in climate, pollution and modern pesticides the bestingered little insects who pollinate many of the plants we need are becoming endangered.
But by installing a beehive or bee-house (which can be purchased for as little as £12.99 from Waitrose Garden) you can do your bit to help the furry little guys out. Not only is it an ecologically sound garden addition, it is super trendy with celebrities including Michelle Obama, Morgan Freeman and Scarlett Johansson (who got her first hive as a wedding gift from Samuel L. Jackson) being avid beekeepers.
To make your garden even more bee friendly, purchase some wildflower seeds and scatter liberally to create your own miniature meadow that all manner of insects are certain to love.
Outdoor living spaces
Last year one of the hottest interior trends was the concept of ‘bringing the outside in’ this included things such as using raffia furniture indoors. Well, this is the year of creating areas in your garden which are as comfy as your living room.
If you have the space then install decking or a patio to serve as a platform for big comfy garden seating and fill it with cushions and blankets, so you can relax their all night long, just remember to take them in if you see rainclouds start to form. Check the outdoor dining space above for inspiration.
Roses, violets and magnolias are all very well and good. But what about the beauty of a flowering chive plant? Or the deep greens and blues of a cabbage patch? Growing your own vegetables has always been a popular British pastime, and there’s nothing to say that a kitchen garden can’t be ornamental as well as edible.
Take influence from French potagers to create a garden that's aesthetically stunning as well as delicious. A few simple tips to follow are to group similarly coloured vegetables together, mix it up — for example by investing in a wide range of different coloured tomato and berry plants and finally plan your vegetable patch seasonally so there’s always something to look at to avoid periods where you’re just staring at bare soil.
The Japanese have a word — shinrin-yoku, which literally means ‘forest-bathing’ the idea that a short leisurely trip around a forest has dramatic effects to improve both our emotional and physical health, helping to combat stress from a long work week and giving us time to ruminate on our thoughts.
While we’re not saying you should attempt to turn your back garden into Epping forest there’s no denying that adding a tree or two to the garden will always add charm. There’s a popular adage “The best time to plant a tree was thirty years ago; the second best time is today” and we couldn’t agree more, so add a sapling or two to your garden.
There’s a whole host of options whether you go for a food producing fruit tree, an exotic monkey puzzle tree or a charming willow, explore the options to find a species that really amores you.