Gardening can make you happy – even if you don’t have green fingers – so try our simple three-month plan to create an outdoor space you’ll be proud of
WHACK THOSE WEEDS
They’re unruly, messy and it’s time for them to go. No, not the kids, the weeds! Side step the generic weed treatments and just pour a kettle of boiling water onto the offending area your garden with chemicals. While you’re at it, give the lawn a quick mow – the tidier you start the season, the less work it’ll take to maintain it… honest!
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SAY GOODBYE TO RUST
All you need is a potato and a sprinkling of bicarbonate of soda (stay with us…). Slice the spud in half, dip it in the bicarb and rub the areas of your metal patio furniture that have seen better days. The acids in the potato react with the bicarb to dissolve those unsightly brown patches.
GROW YOUR OWN
Don’t panic, we’re not about to suggest that you completely live off the land, but cultivating your own food is so rewarding, and a great lesson for the kids, too. But don’t let space deter you from making your own herb and veggie patch: wooden crates, mounted-wall units or shelves, upcycled ladders and various wall hangings all work wonderfully for growing your own goodies when space is limited.
WASH THE WINDOWS
Well, you’ve spent all that time beautifying your garden, you want to see it clearly! To avoid streaks, clean the glass once the sun goes down – this gives you time to buff out the marks before the heat dries them.
DRESS IT UP
Accessories can take a garden from average to wow. Invest in cushions for your outdoor chairs, or pick up a couple of bright pots or watering cans and fill them witch flowers. Dot candles over your outdoor table (and if they’re citronella, they’ll keep the bugs out of cocktails, too!). Try painting the Wendy house or fence – a pop of colour will make it feel like a new space. Use best exterior one-coat paint.
LET THE FUN BEGIN
Nostalgic outdoor games are a great way to make the most of the garden. Croquet and (try Makro), but you don’t need to rely on toys. Hands up, who wants a game of hopscotch?
BLITZ THE BRAAI
Stick your old cooking tools in a bucket of cheap supermarket cola – it’ll dissolve any rust and residue, leaving you to focus on the main task. Remove the grill and rub the surface of the braai with baking powder. Add a few tablespoons of white vinegar, top with water and leave for 30 minutes. Scrunch up a ball of foil and scrub. You’re ready for boerie roll season again!
KEEP IT GREEN
Resolve to keep existing plants watered regularly to keep them happy and, well… alive. Make it part of your evening routine to potter round with the watering can. If the space is looking a bit bare, just pick up some annuals from the garden centre.
ADD SOME WILD THINGS
Attract wildlife to your garden by adding a pond or water feature – or, a simple birdfeeder will work just as well. To give the kids the chance to see the likes of owls, why not invest in an owl box (ecosolutions.co.za) or make your own – birdlife.org. za has great plans. You’ll love hearing them call at night!
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