If you’re fortunate enough to have a garden, it can be a fantastic addition to your home and even act as an extra living space during periods of decent weather. Sitting outside for breakfast in the sun, lounging on a reclining garden chair and reading a book or just playing with your children … however you plan to enjoy your garden, it needs to be a clutter-free, useable space.
If your garden is looking a bit worse for wear at the moment, here are 5 top tips for decluttering your garden.
1. Start with your shed or storage spaces
Get the biggest job out of the way first, and you’ll know exactly how much storage space you’ve got to play with for keeping the rest of your garden tidy.
Your shed or storage boxes are probably full of gardening tools and accessories, outdoor toys, and garden furniture. Take everything out and organise it into those categories, discarding anything that is either broken or that you won’t use again. Rubbish can be piled up ready to take to the tip or recycling facility; excess items can be taken to charity shops or sold/gifted locally or online.
When you have organised the contents, return them to the shed or storage box neatly, leaving as much room as you can for more items or just so that you can easily access what’s in there already. You could add hooks to the walls to hang up larger tools such as spades and hoes, and use labelled storage boxes for smaller hand tools or items such as slug pellets, plant food or compost.
2. Tidy up
Go round your garden meticulously, gathering up toys and equipment: anything that should be stored away. If you have children who play in the garden a lot, it’s worth investing in a toy box that they can access easily - it might be a tough job, but try to train them to put their toys back in the box at the end of each day!
Store everything else in the shed or storage box, keeping things that you use most often (such as garden chairs, cushions, and tools like trowels, lawnmower and hedge trimmers) to the front for easy access.
If you find you have more tools and furniture than will fit into your shed, or if you don’t have enough room to store your garden furniture over winter
, consider using a self storage unit for a few weeks or months to keep everything safe, clean and dry.
3. Get rid of any rubbish
Broken plant pots look unsightly and are neither use nor ornament! Gather them up, store any useable soil in bags and add the rest to the rubbish pile. If you’re the creative type, you could always repurpose your broken pots to make mosaics … If not, make a trip to the tip or recycling facility and get rid of anything that cannot be used again.
Check your front and back gardens for stray litter that might have blown in off the street, and get rid of any footballs or other toys that are broken beyond repair.
4. Sort the greenery
With everything stored away neatly, it should be easier to assess what work needs doing to the plants and grass in your garden. Start by mowing the grass (check it first for things like rocks, toys or pegs that might be hidden in the long grass) and edging it neatly.
Then work through the borders to get rid of weeds and stray grass; use a hand fork or trowel to dig up roots and put the weeds and grass into a garden bin liner (or your council’s garden waste bin if you have one). Don’t expect to be able to do this in one go, it will take time and can be hard work, but it’s really rewarding when it’s done and easy to maintain if you check back for regrowth once a week. Add any plants or flowers you like to fill out the borders or plant pots and add some colour to your beautiful garden.
Check for, and get rid of, any deadheads on your existing plants (especially on rose bushes, azaleas and peonies), and trim back any shrubs that are becoming overgrown. Trim back any hedges or trees that overhang the garden or neighbouring properties/streets.
5. Place your garden furniture
If you have several garden chairs, only put out enough for however many people will usually sit in them! Keep the rest in the shed for when you have guests. Place your garden table and chairs in an area that’s sunny or shaded, whichever you prefer, and make sure the cushion pads are clean and dry. Store the cushion pads indoors overnight, every night, to avoid mildew.
Finally, sit back and relax, enjoy your garden and feel really proud of all your hard work!