Cleaning Your Garden
First off, start with a plan. If you're looking at completely re-designing your garden you should think ahead and draw up a lay-out of what you want where. If you wish to add a vegetable garden, more pots and plants or a water feature, you need to get down everything you need in a list with the right sizes, shapes and colours to suit what you're looking for. This ensures that down the line you don't commit time-consuming and costly mistakes which will get in the way of enjoying the fruits of your labour!
Perhaps you have no plans to re-design or introduce any new features to your garden, and it just needs a good sort out. Either way, there are a few odd jobs that you will need to start with; have a quick look over your garden tools, maybe it's time your lawn mower had a quick service? If your hand tools are looking a bit rusty, get yourself a wire brush and clean it off with the aid of a product like HG Rust Remover. Look over your electrical equipment and make sure the cords are in good condition, we don't want any nasty shocks!
Once you're confident all your tools are in good nick, we can begin cleaning up the mess that has accrued over the winter. I'd recommend getting a garden sack or a large bulk rubbish bag if you don't intend to keep a compost heap, as this means you can quickly and easily dispose of everything when you're done. Start with a good rake up of all the remaining leaves and debris scattered around your garden, pull up weed patches in the lawn by hand and seed any bare ground.
With the clear up of all the rubbish laying around the garden you can move on to your patio. Get a hard-bristled brush and scrub off all the dirt and moss. If you use any cleaning products check that it's pet friendly if you have any, else you can use a diluted bleach/washing-up-liquid solution, or HG Patio Cleaner to wash down the stonework of the patio and paths in the garden. Working from the ground up, you can start on your furniture next. Wipe it all down with a dry cloth to vanquish those cobwebs and any loose dirt, before using a wet cloth with a multipurpose cleaning product to give it all a thorough wash down. If there are more stubborn marks, try using a heavy-duty scrubber. If your furniture is wooden, finish it off with an oil treatment to give it an extra layer of protection against the weather.
Your pots and planters are next on the agenda. I recommend that you use a stiff Bassine Churn Brush to give your pots a really good scrub and clean, as they have an angled brush head with stiff bristles, which is an ideal shape for the curves of the pots. Once you've removed any old soil or dead plants to make way for new ones, and given them a good brush down, you can rinse and wipe off any remaining dirt so they look as good as new for the summer.
The last task before the final tidy up and putting away our garden tools is the biggest challenge of all, feared by all but necessary for those glorious summer evenings – The Barbeque. It's been sat in the corner, beaten by the weather for half the year, still bearing the evidence of the last garden party on its blackened grill. Get yourself a heavy duty abrasive scourer and team it up with a specialist cleaner and give that grill a really good scrub until it sparkles. Remove any old charcoal and wipe down the outer surfaces of the barbeque and it's ready for action, just like the rest of your garden. Go around the paths and the patio one more time with a stiff outdoor sweeping brush, collect it all in a large garden dustpan, put away your tools and get yourself a drink and admire the results of a job well done.