What to buy and plant to make your garden grow
Here's what to buy and plant now to make even the smallest, saddest garden a sanctuary during social distancing
Instead of faffing around with lots of different seeds and curating different flower beds, make your own wildflower medley by planting Bee Bombs. Each simple-to-use ball contains thousands of seeds from 18 native wildflower species, mixed with clay and nurturing topsoil. All you need to do is pop them into the ground and wait to watch your own mini-meadow spring to life. One Bee Bomb provides coverage for approximately two square metres so will be more than sufficient for smaller London spaces (we've planted one in a much smaller plot and it worked fine). And of course, as the name suggests, the variety of plants is chosen specifically to benefit and boost the bees.
Click here to buy.
Instant blooms and hardy plants
Gardeners will tell you that you have to sow seeds early in preparation for each season. But if you missed the memo and were too busy to prepare the garden for spring, there's a shortcut to instant blooms. Crocus delivers to your door and has a wide selection of more mature plants that are ready to go straight into your garden. Best of all, you can browse by 'In Flower This Month'.
Click here to browse plants that are flowering now
For those with limited space, Waitrose Gardening has a specially curated selection of plants that are perfect for pots and it even specifies what size pot you need. So you can pick the prettiest, safe in the knowledge you need only a pot and a tiny patch of sun for it to thrive.
Click here to browse plants that are perfect for pots
For big impact and minimal effort, go for potted trees and shrubs. We love Patch Plants, who will deliver a lemon tree to bring a little slice of the Mediterranean to your garden, or a bay tree that looks elegant with leaves that bring flavour to your cooking, or a date palm for an urban jungle feel.
Click here to browse Patch's outdoor plants
Statement pots and planters
Bright pots are the quickest and most reliable way to bring colour to a garden all year round. Think vertically for small spaces with plant ladders or shelves and mix up proportions with an assortment of big and small pots.
1 Terracotta plant stand, £69.95 – click here to buy. 2 Palarosa woven pots in various sizes, from £39 – click here to buy. 3 Aveyron painted pots, from £14 – click here to buy. 4 Geometric tall fibreglass planters, set of two, £109 – click here to buy.
Regrow from your fruit and vegetables
Savour the satisfaction of growing your own produce by using the fruit and vegetable scraps that would be usually be destined for the compost bin. Success is far from guaranteed, but it's a free and productive use of time... and if you get just a few things to grow you can reap the benefits and feel a little smug in your self-sufficiency.
Tools of the trade
You don't need much in your armoury to tend to a garden. Invest in a few key tools to help you prune, water and plant and you'll soon find your green fingers.
1 Opinel gardening set, £65 – click here to buy. 2 Watering can, £17 – click here to buy. 3 Gardening gloves, £15.99 – click here to buy. 4 Potting scoop, £8 – click here to buy
Create atmosphere and eke out the last of the day's sunlight with different lighting options, from outdoor candles and lanterns to twinkly fairy lights.
1 Festoon outdoor lights, £85 – click here to buy. 2 Diptyque Feu de Bois outdoor candle, £220 – click here to buy. 3 Lanterns, from £59.95 – click here to buy. 4 Hurricane lamp, £25 – click here to buy.
Pave the way with a stylish doormat
First impressions count, so make the journey to your garden jollier with a new doormat. A splash of colour or a whimsical hand-woven design will brighten up poky corridors and shabby backdoors while still stopping mud and dead leaves getting trodden around the house.
1 V&A print doormat, £39 – click here to buy. 2 Round jute doormat, £70 – click here to buy. 3 Coloured jute mat, £25 – click here to buy.