12 Crucial Spring Gardening Tips And Ideas

Spring is one of the most awaited and important times of the year for gardeners.

This is the only time they can prepare their gardens in readiness for planting before temperatures rise. The urge to step in your garden after the long, harsh winter can be overwhelming for most gardeners.

chrysanthemum daisy

Gardening is more than just a hobby; it is a source of happiness for many of us. That said, most people prepare their gardens in spring. It is at this time of the year that you can assess how much effect winter had to your garden, fix holes in the landscape, prune, make new nurseries and beds, tend to the lawn, plant seedlings, begin composting, feed everything, and ensure the irrigation/drip system is working just right. You can either do all these by yourself or delegate chores to members of the household.

Don’t let the list scare you; all these chores can be completed within the shortest time possible for as long as you are dedicated. You only need to take on one task at a time. Before long, your garden will be envied by all in the neighbourhood.  Although adrenaline might already be rushing in your veins, you need to inspect the garden first to ensure the soil is ready and not too frozen. Walking on frozen soil will only compact it making it hard for plants to develop their root systems well. If the ground seems saturated, give it time to loosen up.

12 Essential Spring Gardening Tips

Outlined below are 12 essential spring gardening tips to help you create just the garden you have been dreaming of.

garden landscape

1.            Survey the Yard

This should be the first thing you do just after winter. You need to survey/inspect the garden, note tree limbs that need removing or cabling.  Tree limbs hanging over structures should be removed to reduce potential risks. Consider calling an arborist if the trees are too big or precious. Next, you’ll need to cut off perennial foliage to make a compost pile. Rake up mulch from beds with bulb plants before any foliage can appear.  Check pathways, fences, and steps for damage caused during the winter season.

2.            Prepare the Tools

This is particularly important if you didn’t have the time to store them properly for the cold winter season. Check to ensure all tools are in the best condition. Consider sharpening sharp tools, and sand, clean, as well as massage wooden handles with linseed oil. Take not of missing or broken tools and order for the same in advance.

3.            Fill Gaps in The Garden

Many are times when you’ll find gaps in the garden. Filling the open spaces with new plants takes care of this. You can also order shrubs, trees, and other perennials for planting this season. Although you might not know this, nurseries are happy ordering varieties they don’t have in their stock.

4.            Revive the Lawn

Inspect the lawn for long grass and start preparing your lawn mower. The mower might need new spark plugs, oil, and lubricating before it can be powered up.  Consider sharpening the mower blades yourself as well. Use the leaf blower to clear any debris from the lawn before mowing.

5.            Prune the Shrubs

Woody plants should be pruned too. Take time to inspect all shrubs and remove any damaged, dead, or diseased branches.  It would also be advisable to prune shrubs that bloom in summer. This includes roses, hydrangea, and butterfly bush. Be sure to prune trees and shrubs that bloom after flowering in spring. Be careful when pruning cold-damaged wood from these plants as well.

6.            Start Preparing New Beds

The fun part with gardening is that you can create a new planting bed in a virgin land. All you need to do is dig the soil (to loosen it up), relieve compaction, add oxygen, and compost for more fertile soil. Be sure to remove weeds, sod, and debris as soon as the soil can be worked on. Add well-rotted manure or a 4-inch layer of compost over the soil, then cultivate it to a depth of about 12 inches. This should promote decomposition and ensure it mixes well with the soil. A spading fork will be needed to take the bed smooth for planting.

7.            Plant from Bare-Root

Planting from bare root makes it possible to take advantage of planting time for most plants. This is especially so for daylilies, hostas, roses, and fruit trees. Be sure to plant on a cool, cloudy day to minimize wilting.

8.            Transplant Container-Grown Plants

Container-grown plants can be transplanted at any time except in mid-summer.  The plants should be watered thoroughly to promote rooting and growth. Calendula, poppies, sweet peas, parsley, lettuce, and spinach are some of the crops that should be transplanted in early spring.

9.            Fertilize

The germinating and growing plants will appreciate some extra fuel, hence the need to fertilize, balanced fertilizer is needed to ensure healthy growth of the same. The fertilizer container should read 8-8-8 or 6-6-6. Apply fish emulsion around shrubs and trees once new growth appears. Spread pine-needle mulch and high-acid fertilizer around shrubs that love acid. This includes citrus, blueberries, camellias, and azaleas. Fertilize perennials on resuming growth.

10.          Start a Compost Heap

You can also use a compost bin as well. Collect raked up leaves and plant debris from the garden for composting. Identify materials that are rich in nitrogen (green) and carbon (brown), weeds and grass clippings, then chop them up. Chopping these organic materials speeds up the rate of decomposition. There are two approaches to use here; you can use the ‘hot pile’ method which entails building alternating layers of browns and greens, then turning them regularly without topping them up. The other process, ‘cold pile,’ involves adding the composed slowly over time without turning them. This method takes a lot longer to decompose when compared to ‘hot pile.’

11.          Clean Birth Baths and Feeders

Bird baths and feeders are essentially used to attract birds.  If you are particularly fond of birds, you should then clean the feeders and baths using a weak bleach solution. Rinse the feeders and baths with warm water, then fill them up with food and water. Be sure to change the water weekly to ensure the birds get clean water each time. For those yet to invite birds to their gardens, you can start with a plant saucer, then fill it up with clean water. You will also need to keep the dish clean by changing the water weekly. It won’t be long before the ‘feathered friends’ start coming over for a drink, and especially on the coming hot sunny days.

12.          Mulch if You Are in Doubt

A fresh layer of mulch gives your garden a clean and tidy look and feel. Mulch also suppresses weed growth in the garden while helping retain soil moisture.  You could use finished compost, wood chips, or straw for mulching. The best thing with using organic materials for mulching is that they eventually break down, releasing nutrients into the soil. Mulching is particularly recommended once the weather starts getting hotter.

ornamental grasses at sunset

Using Ornamental Grasses In Gardening

Ornamental grasses are elegant yet easy to care for, and are being introduced into an increasing number of backyards all the time.

Gardeners absolutely love their subtle colors and graceful shapes. And also their delicate plumes and flower tassels – known as inflorescences – are the inspiration of such evocative names as turkey foot, foxtail, cloud grass, and bottlebrush.


Various grasses are able to grow from ankle-high length to over-our head – in arching cascades, feathery fronds, straight spikes, or in soft mounds. However, a majority of them fall into one of two major categories: spreading or clump-forming. Ornamental grasses that are clump-forming are able to maintain their compact shapes, which means they behave well when planted in a flowerbed. The spreading varieties may be invasive (and there are some imports that might pose threats out in the wild to native species), so they need to be selected and controlled very carefully or confined to just growing them in containers.

Grasses are ideal for the eco-friendly gardener.

There are many different varieties of ornamental grasses available. They are tolerant of many different types of soil and thrive with plenty of sun, no fertilizer or chemicals, and little rain. Native grasses, in particular, are a very attractive source of food for butterflies and birds.


Summer is the time of year when ornamental grasses perform at their best, providing hazes of color, sound, and motion. When they are left untrimmed until spring arrives, they can stand up all winter very well and show their silhouettes off against the snow backdrop.

Growing tips

  • Plant grasses into clumps that have three plants at least in each of them for maximum impact.
  • Dig a large hole (two to three times larger than the root-ball) for each. Turn out the plant from the pot, tease the roots apart, and the put it inside of the hole with its crown right above the level of the ground so it doesn’t get waterlogged. Fill it with soil and then firmly tamp down. Give it a generous amount of water until it has become established.
  • Once a clump becomes too big or the center starts dying back, wait until spring, and then dig the clump up, leaving plenty of soil around the edges. Pry the root-ball apart using garden forks, and then replant the divisions immediately.
  • In the spring, and before any new growth starts to sprout, cut the plants back. Trim the grasses to under one meter in height to around 5 centimeters tall; those that are more than one meter should be cut about to around 10 centimeters tall.

Design With Ornamental Grasses

Internationally renowned Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf has shaken up the traditional ideas of border composition with his naturalistic planting style. Oudolf has introduced his innovative ideas into many of North America’s public gardens, and to the Toronto Botanical Garden mostly recently, where he partnered with Martin Wade, a landscape architect, on a design for the facility’s Entry Garden Walk and Arrival Courtyard.

Naturalistic gardens are deceptively spontaneous and wild and are successful through the careful placement and selection of plants. Greases are some of the most essential elements for Oudolf, that create excitement, rhythm, and harmony.

garden design example

The following are some useful tips on how to design with ornamental grasses:

  • Grasses work the best when they are combined with natural companions: other noninvasive, long-lived, hardy perennials, and in particular prairie plants and meadow flowers, like masterworts (Astrantia), coneflowers (Echinacea), burnets (Sangiusorba), and bee balm (Monarda didyma).
  • It is more important to play with texture and form than to devise artistic color combinations (grasses offer a harmonizing effect on hues that are otherwise discordant. A common naturalistic pairing may contrast the airy soft clouds of tufted hair grass with the round, spiny flower heads of the globe thistle.
  • Grasses may evoke different moods. When one kind of grass is repeated it creates a calm rhythm; when planted in the form of uniform blocks, a powerful impression is made by the grass. Grasses that are planted in a loose drift evoke the feeling of the countryside and offer a nostalgic and informal feeling.
  • In the fall, the grasses burnished leaves combined with the jewel tones of late fall season perennials like the joe-pye weed, sedums, and asters. In the winter, grasses like Miscanthus, Deschampsia, and Calamagrostis shine through frost.

12 kinds of ornamental grass to try out

Shorter grasses

blue festuca short grass
  1. Festuca glauca (blue fescue) – Clump forming. This grass features fine blades that grow in dense tufts up to 30 centimeters in height and produce mauve inflorescences.
  2. Hordeum jubatum (foxtail barley) – Clump forming. Shimmering pink-purple plumes reach to around 45 centimeters in height.
  3. Pennisetum alopercuroides ‘Hameln’ (fountain grass) – Clump forming. White flower spikes are turned into fawn during the fall and grow to 60 centimeters in height.


colorful ornamental garden
  1. Carex elata ‘Aurea’ – Clump forming. Arching, narrow leaves, lemon-lime color, grow up to 60 centimeters tall in thick tufts.
  2. Chasmanthium latifolium (spangle grass) – Clump forming. A green grass that grows up to 1.2 meters in height and matures into a bright copper color, but is also selected for it oatlike distinct flowers.
  3. Panicum virgatum ‘Huron Solstice’ – Clump forming. This cultivar has light green leaves from the Martin Quinn Canadian hybridizer and is striped with pink and red inflorescences that reach to 1.2 meters in height, and dance in the breeze.

Very tall

tall pampas grass
  1. Andropogon gerardii (turkey foot, big bluestem) – Clump forming. The grass grows to 2 meters in height with blue-green leaves and big purple inflorescences in the shape of birds’ feet.
  2. Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ (feather reed grass) – Clump forming. Reaches to 75 centimeters in height with pink inflorescences that nearly double this height.
  3. Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) – Clump forming. The delicate flower spikes and flat green leaves grow to 2.4 meters tall.

Middle border:

  1. Hystrix patula (bottlebrush) – Clump forming. Arching green stems grow to 90 centimeters in height.
  2. Sorghastrum nutans (Indian grass) – Clump forming. The ‘Sioux Blue’ cultivar features blue-green blades that age into gold. Their yellow flower tassels mature into a bronze color. The grass grows up to 90 centimeters in height.
  3. Sporobolus heterolepis (Prairie dropseed) – Clump forming. Pale, pink fragrant flowers float around 60 centimeters into the air, over green leaves that turn into gold.

The First Flowers of Spring

Spring flowers will soon start to peak their heads up through the barren ground.

In early spring there is an abundance of varieties of flowers that blossom during the early spring. However, the most symbolic of all of these early bloomers is perhaps the daffodil.


The following are some of the others that you can see in early spring, along with some interesting facts about these memorable flowers.  


The earliest crocus varieties of crocus, such as crocus tommasinianus, crocus sieberi, and crocus chrysanthus bloom through snow. They feature very small blooms that are usually yellow or purple.



These flowers are shaped like stars and come in a multitude of different colors. They bloom as early as the month of February. There are white, pink and blue varieties that are available, and they are quite easy to grow if you are searching for flowers to plant inside of your garden.

Winter Aconite

Compared to other flowers these are not the most spectacular, but they offer bursts of yellow during the early spring at a time when not much else is thriving, which might be their best attribute. Its flower looks like a buttercup and may bloom as early as the month of January. It has a tendency to emit a honeyed scent.

Witch Hazel

This shrub may feature red, orange, or yellow flowers, this makes them great for creating garden boundaries.

witch hazel

Spring Snowflakes

There are three variations of these bell-shaped, white flowers. They all boom at a different time. They may bloom as early as the month of February and feature green spots on the end of each of their petals.


These flowers are available in many sizes and varieties. They are a symbol of hope and friendship and are one of the very first flowers to make their appearance in the spring. You probably will not see them popping up through the snow. However, they tend to be quite plentiful once the ground has thawed out. The trumpet-shaped flowers originate from Southwest Europe and belong to the Narcissus family. Commercial daffodils today are mainly grown in Europe, although they can be found in gardens all over the United States as well.


Popular Wedding Flowers

All women love flowers, whether it is receiving them as gifts, or wearing them or decorating their homes with them.

But even more than that they love carrying them in a bouquet to complement their wedding gowns on one of the most important days of their lives.


The bridal bouquet is one of the most important components of a modern bride’s attire whether the special occasion is a simple garden wedding taking place at the family home or is a lavish and opulent event. Flowers do add a nice touch of romance and visual beauty to a wedding, however, there are even more meaningful reasons for them being present.

A bride carrying a bouquet of flowers is an ancient tradition. In Ancient Rome, brides wore or carried flower garlands. They believed that flowers signified hope of fertility, fidelity, and new beginnings. During the Middle Ages, it was thought that strong-smelling spices and herbs could ward off and drive out poor health, bad luck, and evil spirits as well as help to mask the scent of body odor. Frequently comprised of herbs instead of flowers, dill was particularly popular, given it is the herb of lust, it was consumed by the groom and bride during their reception and was believed to increase sexual desire.  


During the Victorian age, flowers became a regular component of the wedding bouquet and this tradition has continued up until the present day.

Queen Victoria popularized the modern bridal bouquet. When she married Prince Albert, she carried a tussie-mussie with her, which was a small clutch of flowers contained in a filigree holder full of orange blossom, mytrle and moss.

During the Victorian era, lovers frequently sent various flowers as an expression of their love. Every flower had its own meaning, and exchanging flowers became very popular and became associated with romantic love. Due to this romantic association, flowers became an important aspect of wedding ceremonies. Brides chose their flowers carefully for the various sentiments that they represented, and whichever blossoms she carried with her, became “her flowers” for life.  

However, during modern times, although they might have seemed very charming, the old traditions appear to have been largely forgotten. Brides now choose their flowers for their shape, fragrance, and colors. The wedding bouquet is the ultimate accessory for the bride and significantly adds to the day’s overall appearance. The blooms chosen by a bride are a way that she can express her own personality, taste, and personal style, as well as complement her gown.

Imagine yourself walking through a beautiful garden with each flower at the peak of its life.

Which of these flowers would you choose for your wedding: something trendy or classic? Neutral or colorful? Small or large?

If you don’t even know where to begin, we can help narrow your flower options down before you go the florist.

Start with the basics, the three most popular, timeless, and beautiful wedding flowers.



Roses have long been thought of as a symbol of love and beauty and are part of many fairy tales and myths. Romantic poets and writers have used this flower as a metaphor for true love, passion, beauty, and emotion. When it comes to the world of weddings, the rose is an all-star. Roses are available in bi-color varieties and solid hues – there are even tipped and striped roses. Over 3,000 rose varieties are commercially grown, and many are quite affordable and available all year long. Although roses tend to be associated with beautiful aromas, not all roses carry a scent. There are three main kinds of roses that are very popular wedding flowers: garden roses (old-fashioned, expensive varieties with wonderful scents and open, bushy heads), spray roses (roses that have 5-10 small heads on each of the stems, and a garden-grown, natural look), hybrid tea roses (uniformly shaped, classic commercial roses that you tend to see at the local florist). 



Although tulips tend to be associated mainly with the Netherlands, it originates from Persia. The tulip represents “happy years” and “consuming love,” and makes a very meaningful choice of flower for a wedding. The flower is grown in a broad range of colors, including vibrant shades (purple, orange, red, magenta), pastels (peach, yellow, pink) as well as cream and white.  Available throughout most of the year, the more common tulips are quite affordable, although rare varieties may be expensive. Tulips are very versatile and can enhance both causal events and more elegant weddings. They also work very well in nearly any wedding detail – from table arrangements to boutonnieres and bouquets. There are three varieties that are used the most: parrot tulips (which have intense colors and striped, ruffled petals), French tulips (elegant and expensive with large tapered blooms and extra-long stems), and Dutch tulips (commonly seen in gardens and local florist shops).


Calla Lilies

Also called the arum lily, the trumpet-shaped, elegant blossom comes from Africa and in the language of the flowers symbolizes “magnificent beauty.” The distinct form of the calla lily has been widely depicted in both art deco and art nouveau work, along with 20th-century photography. Two kinds are readily available: a miniature version that is perfect for boutonnieres and small arrangements and a large-headed variety that features a smooth, long stem that is well-suited for presentation-style bouquets and tall arrangements. The most popular color is cream ivory. However, calla lilies also are available in dark purple, mauve pink, orange, and yellow.

So which one will be your top pick on your big day?

heart shaped cut out in hedge foilage

Liven Your Garden Walls With Living Pictures

Making Your Garden Walls Come Alive

With plants, you can create living pictures. For instance, garden landscapers and designers are into weaving together cutting of assorted succulents with everything from pallet boxes to picture frames. It is a fantastic tip worth trying this spring. It can be what you have been looking for that can add some color and texture to your outdoor space.

various succulents

The succulents are the primary elements in the living pictures you create that give each piece a sculptural quality that exudes sundry aesthetics making it ideal for any outdoor setting. If you are thinking of a bohemian feel or something close to Southwestern or to keep it simple with a contemporary, the living pictures will not fail you. They are a great addition for any urban home that has limited outdoor space.

Moreover, what you will be bringing into your garden is a new element of verve that is nearly maintenance free. As such, living pictures can make even the novice of gardeners to look like master gardeners.

Below are some surefire tips on how to make living succulent pictures

Pick Your Box Frame Style

If you are thinking of something substantial, then consider using a wooden pallet its back framed out like a shadow box. You can use the wall panels or opt to buy them online via garden shops.

Keep in mind that going big means that you will be dealing with bulky creations and opting for this right away can be daunting, especially if you are new at gardening and landscaping. I recommend you start small with simple poster frames and boxes. Consider working with antique frames that will give your creations a vintage look. Frames that are chunky and streamlines give a modern feel.

Frame shown with mesh attached to the underside. You will then nail this frame over your box, like a lid.

You will need to cut a shadow box to fit the back of the poster frame and then spread a chicken wire or any light wire or PVC mesh over the front. You will have to screw or nail the shadow box to the frame and ensure that it has a depth of around 2-3 inches. Then set the wire mesh inside and secure it with samples to the frame. Lastly, nail plywood, cut to fit, to the base of the shadow box.

Take Cuttings

The beauty with succulents is that they can work with any kind to make the living pictures for your garden walls. However, the best results are seen from the type that stays small, such as the sempervivums and echeverias. I also suggests sedums and aeoniums if you are thinking of add some pop of color and texture; adding that they do need some bit of TLC to mitigate their growth when they start reaching out of the picture.

sempervivum succulent variety

When making the succulent cuttings, snip off the small buds and have the stem at a length of about a quarter inch. If you do not have any succulents in your garden, then get some from the local nursery or your neighbors.

Succulents grow fast and with ease thus are not hard to come by.

When making the succulents, get rid of the bottom leaves and then place each cutting on a tray and leave it to cool under a shad for a couple of days. It will allow “scab” to form at the ends of the cuttings in readiness for planting.

Add Soil

Before filling the frame with soil, set it on the table with the mesh-side up and use your hand to push the dirt through the mesh openings. Consider using cactus soil because it has big granules that make it ideal for potting as it has excellent drainage. The addition of a layer of sphagnum moss over or under the soil can help improve moisture retention that reduces the frequency of watering.

gardening soil pots trowel
gardening soil, pots, trowel.

Fill In With Plants

The last part is planting your succulents, which will be fun and you are allowed to get creative. You can spread out the cuttings in whatever design you prefer and then pick each and poke it into through the opening of the wire mesh into the soil. Pick a focal point from which to start; it can be at once corner, side, or from the center of the box. Play around with the colors and textures of the succulents to create motion such as spirals or waves.

You can even enhance the overall look by painting various color stripes on the pallet or box that complements the different hues of the plants or color theme.

completed succulent picture frame art planter
completed succulent picture frame art planter

Opting to work with one type of succulent may suffice; it works well with collages that have some upright and draping plants. This is one of the exciting options that exudes a dramatic look and elegant feel.

Care And Maintenance Tips

• Initially, set your work on a flat horizontal surface, such as a table or shelf, preferably ‘not’ facing the sun directly. The new plants should be shaded for about a week or two to allow the roots to develop; then you can begin to water your plants and move to a spot with a little more daylight.

• Too much watering will cause the soil to pour out when you hang up the picture right away. Therefore, give the succulents enough time to develop and be rooted before you place the living picture on the wall. It will also be enough time for the dirt to get compacted; this can take about 4 – 8 weeks depending on the climate.

• When it’s time to water them, take them off the wall and lay them on a flat surface. You should water the succulents weekly and allow the water to drain before you hang them up again on the garden walls.

Gardening, Main

Top Gardening and Fall Cleanup Tips

When it comes to fall and getting ready for winter, there are plenty of things that you want to prioritize to properly prepare.

This is especially true when you are looking to prepare your garden.

Below, we will be going over some of the top tips that you shouldn’t skip.

Tips For Gardening and Fall Cleanup


Leave Wildlife-Friendly Plants Up and Standing

One of the main things that you are going to want to do when you are in the process of cleaning up and preparing for the winter is to be sure that you are leaving up plants that look good for animals and insects that you will want to encourage. While you cannot always choose which insects enjoy the plants, you can save what looks good to you and the birds as long as possible. This will allow you to be able to maintain a healthier garden throughout the colder months.

Compost all Debris

Another tip that you are going to want to utilize and implement is to destroy and remove the debris. When you are cutting back and raking, you will want to focus primarily on the things that are ailing. For instance, if you are dealing with plants with specific issues, you want to destroy the debris by cutting them back. This will allow you to get rid of and keep diseases from becoming a mainstay in your garden. By cleaning up the plants completely, removing infected roots, you should be able to effectively increase the chances of getting rid of the problems before they become larger.

Gather Leaves

When it comes to taking care of your garden throughout the winter months, you will want to try to save as many leaves as possible. By doing this, you are going to be able to have a better time composting and the ability to keep your garden as healthy as possible over the winter. In order to shred, you might want to run over leaf piles with your lawn mower and then rake the shredded remains into one big pile.

Weed, Weed, Weed

When it comes to maintaining a healthy garden throughout the colder months, you are mainly going to want to focus on weeding. Besides cleaning up everything around the diseased plants, you are going to want to weed consistently. This is something that you must do consistently or else weeds can become a very big problem.

Overall, there is a lot that you are going to want to do when it comes to preparing for winter.


By following the tips above, you should be able to adequately prepare your plants and everything else.

Be sure to be consistent with your garden care throughout these months because what you do during these months can impact your in-season results. Therefore, you want to be consistent in pulling and getting rid of weeds throughout the fall and winter and you want to form a good compost to keep your plants and soil as healthy as possible.