What to Plant in Your UK Garden in Spring
Over the last couple of years, people across the UK have come to really appreciate the benefit of green spaces and to embrace the joy of connecting with nature. And, what better way to increase your exposure to the natural world and boost your physical and mental wellbeing than through gardening? Therapeutic and at times the source of a surprisingly vigorous workout, this feel-good activity is something everyone can enjoy. Not least because watching plants grow, blossom and bear fruit (or vegetables!) brings a reminder that life is all around and that everything has its season. And talking of seasons, while you can garden all year round, spring is very much the ideal time to chuck on your gardening gear – and a fleece or gilet if it's on the chilly side – and to get to work. To help you on your way, we're here to give you the run down on what to plant in your garden now (or in the immediate future), in preparation for the summer.
Flowers: what are the best flowering plants that I can plant now?
Spring is a great time to directly sow wildflowers, as when these bloom 60-80 days later they'll become a beautiful playground for bees and butterflies. For an extra-vibrant garden and a versatile and cost-effective array of plants, sprinkle a packet of mixed wildflower seeds. April and May are also a good time of year to sow sunflowers and poppies, so long as the risk of frost has passed. If the weather remains cold, perhaps start your sunflower seeds off indoors, planted in a pot on your windowsill. After a while – and hopefully when the weather improves – the young plant will need to be potted outside or planted into garden soil. In addition to these, hardier seeds like nasturtium, clarkia and oxalis can be sown, and lily bulbs can be placed in pots. If you put in the work now and take care as to what you plant where, you'll be able to kick-back in summer with your sun hat and sandals on, surrounded by a colourful display of flowers that will allow for your garden to be brimming with wildlife!
Growing vegetables: what veg can I sow or plant now for a bountiful summer garden?
With the depths of winter behind us and warm, sunny days ahead, now is the moment to begin growing vegetables for an abundant summertime harvest. And there are plenty of options to choose from! Carrot, cauliflower, spinach and parsnip seeds can all be directly sown into rich, fertile and moist soil at this time of year. Broad beans, spring onions and even pak choi are other possibilities, not to mention beetroot, radishes and swede. As we've suggested, the health benefits of gardening are manifold; but not only will this activity lift your spirits and provide an opportunity for light exercise, in the summer months it will also fill your plate with nutrients and vitamins galore!
All things green: indoors gardening
While gardens are the perfect place to cultivate fruit, vegetables and pretty plants, they're not the only space you can do this in. If you're lucky enough to have a balcony then that too can be transformed into a natural plant paradise and if not, bring the green inside or make use of window boxes! Tomatoes are one nutritious vegetable that can easily be grown without a garden so long as they're placed in front of a bright window – just make sure to choose a variety that's happy growing in a smaller space and to use pots with good drainage holes. Even with a garden, tomato seedlings need to be started off indoors anyway around this time of year, before potting outside (either in your garden or on your balcony) when the temperature picks up. Herb gardens are another thing to begin growing around April and May time, and again, there's nothing stopping you from doing this indoors. Planted from seed, chives will need frequent watering and lots of sunshine – try and choose a South facing window where possible – while coriander will require thorough watering every time the soil gets dry. Although more successful when later moved outdoors, parsley can also be grown inside. Plus, all types of microgreens, including watercress, can be grown with ease on a windowsill.
Time to flourish
As indicated above, gardening is a wholesome, grounding (no pun intended) and rewarding activity that is great for your health and for the planet in more ways than one. A little greenery can have a big positive impact, so whether you've got a huge acreage or a sunny window spot, it's time to jump on the gardening band wagon! So, now that you're hopefully feeling inspired as to what to plant, seize the day and get sowing…