MILD weather this winter may have led to an invasion in your gardens.

So it is time to check how the weeds are progressing and get stuck into hoeing and removing them by hand.

A stitch in time saves nine and will free you up for more enjoyable times in the garden at a later date.

Other jobs to be doing right now include taking cuttings from any tender plants that you have overwintered and are now starting to grow as the weather warms up and the sun shines that little bit more.

It goes without saying that we are now into one of the busiest times of the year in the garden.

Every year the gardeners at Arley aim to ensure the gardens here are looking their absolute best for all our visitors.

Among the jobs you might need to look at are deadheading the daffodils as they come to the end of their sunny, but short lives.

This means the plant can focus all the goodness it has left into the bulb ready for next year.

It is such a busy time in the garden that it is easy to lose sight of the beauty that is unfolding in front of your eyes.

If this sounds familiar, here is a tip for you – invite a friend or relative round to admire your handiwork in the garden.

At Arley, our gates are open through the season so we are constantly encouraged to stop and take a look at what is around us through our visitors’ eyes.

It is something I am thankful for, but it only takes one person to make you stop and think.

What can be better on a spring evening than to spend time with someone close to you taking in the sights and scents of your garden?

You’ll get a moment to pause for thought and appreciate the fruits of your labour and no doubt a fresh pair of eyes will spot things you have been taking for granted in your haste to get all the jobs done.


Right now I would suggest hoeing and weeding by hand.

We limit our use of weed killer at Arley as it puts some of the plants at risk. The result is a lot of labour, but it is worth it.

Use weed killer on your lawns, but my advice would be to do so with caution.

Don’t go overboard otherwise you risk scorching the grass.


While you take a moment to enjoy your garden you will notice the wildlife moving at a frenetic pace.

The swallows arrived at Arley in the first week of April and got straight to work on building their nests of mud.

They love our old stone sheds and watching their aerial acrobatics during the summer is so impressive.

As much as we might crave the sun it can dry up the ground to the extent that the swallows run out of nesting material.

If it is too dry we can find ourselves watering the soil just to give our winged visitors a little help on their way.

Understanding and appreciating wildlife will not only benefit your garden, but also provide some additional entertainment throughout the year.

So as you busily go about your business in the garden spare a thought for those you share it with. We all have to live together!