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Easy gardening
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Easy gardening

Regardless of whether you are selling your house, now is a good time to turn your attentions to the outside of your home - front and back. Nothing is nicer than pulling up to your house to see lovely bright pots of flowers, or sitting in your garden or on a balcony surrounded by sweet-smelling hanging baskets.

Firstly, get the basics sorted. If you have a lawn, you have probably already had to mow the grass a few times, but making a little more effort can be very rewarding. If you have flowerbeds or pots, give them a good weeding. This is not the most fun part of gardening but it is necessary, as is topping up pots and hanging baskets with compost.

Next, fix any fence panels or trellises. If they are looking shabby, it is easy enough to paint or stain them, especially with sprays. Clean paths and patios if you have a pressure washer, which is much easier than scrubbing!

Now it is time for adding some colour. Spring and summer bedding plants are readily available from nurseries, garden centres and even supermarkets and will add instant colour very cheaply. You can, of course, buy ready-made pots, planters and hanging baskets, but this is more expensive and it is not much trouble to plant them yourself! Growing from seed or seedlings takes longer and requires more patience, but is definitely more rewarding and satisfying. Give the plants a good watering and deadhead as needed, as this will encourage more growth.

You can also buy plastic and ceramic pots ranging from the budget to the very expensive. Mismatched pots look great, unless you like a little uniformity. If so, you can very easily paint or spray pots so that they match, although they might need a coat of primer first and a layer of varnish afterwards to protect against the elements. It is much cheaper to paint a plastic pot than it is to buy a decorative ceramic one and you can paint them whatever colour or pattern you like.

You don’t have to use plant pots; instead, there are myriad items that you can upcycle or recycle such as old saucepans, watering cans, ceramic sinks and basins, wheelbarrows and crates. Cups, mugs and bowls also make good pots for plants, but these are better suited for use indoors.

Finally, step back and admire your handiwork. All it takes to keep it looking good is a few minutes of weeding and deadheading a couple of times a week - simple!

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