There are plenty of ways to grow beautiful flowers, and professional gardeners, writers and bloggers up and down the country will happily rave to you about the best equipment, the latest cunning chemical concoctions and the must-have plant doohickory of the moment.
But sometimes there’s something even more satisfying in using a bit of everyday genius to get great results without having to go out and pour hard-earned dollar into the local garden centre. Taken from a list of ideas by John Elliot, here are a few cunning ‘life hacks’ that can help your garden to look beautiful over the coming months. You’ll be amazed at how cheap, and how commonsensical, some of these solutions are.
Bulbs getting eaten by passing wildlife? A simple and easy solution is to wrap them in some steel wool. The bulbs will still poke their way through, but the scratchy wool will help to put bulbivores off.
For cut flowers, always cut the flower stems at an angle. This gives a greater exposed surface for the flower shoots to soak up vital water. An aspirin in the water, or some Alka-Seltzer, can also help to keep flowers looking perky for longer. And make sure that water’s not too cold! Stand tap water overnight before you put the flowers in.
Mosses and lichens taking over? Add some salt to some boiling water, add a stiff broom, and get sweeping! While this may need to be re-applied every so often, it’s a safe and easy way to get rid of the offending growths without hurting the soil like weedkiller can.
Finally, why invest in expensive liners for your plants, when you’ve almost certainly got something that will do the trick lying around the house already? Old bubble wrap works well to line pots and containers, while old newspaper is an absolute boon for lining hanging baskets.