Spring tips from your garden statue

“I stand firm in all weathers and require nothing of you but, if you listen carefully, your garden statue has a few tips that may help your green fingers.

The sun is shining and the grass needs mowing; if there are a few balding areas, now is the time to sow, especially for people living in the south and west. If you have a water-butt and a small water pump, you can enjoy a verdant lawn without a conscience.

The cost of supermarket food is sky high and there are plenty of root vegetables that can withstand a cold patch of weather, so now is the time to plant your garden peas, carrots, radishes, broad beans, leeks and parsnips.  Don’t forget to label them and if you tie a piece of string between two sticks, you’ll sow in a straight line. If you would like to plant potatoes, there are some early types that grow well if planted at least the depth of a trowel.

Remember to water.

The ground is no longer at risk from a hard frost; therefore it is the perfect time to plant trees and shrubs. When choosing which shrubs to buy, it’s always best to choose the ones with the plumpest buds - make sure you complement the hole with manure or plant food. If you are planting a tree, it is a good idea to bury a length of hosepipe with holes punched along its length, making sure that one end is above the ground.  If there is a long dry spell, you can pour water from your rain-butt into the end of hose and know that it is getting to the tree’s roots.

Of course, if you are a garden statue like me, come rain or shine, I ask for nothing but to see and be seen.”