Spring is in the air, kicking off the busiest time of the year for a gardener. Happily the hard work of preparing your garden for the productive months ahead is softened by the beautiful displays of bulbs that will start popping up about now, says award-winning gardener Kate Gould

Ham & High: PansiesPansies (Image: _maeterlinck_)

The bright colours and delicious scents of daffodils and hyacinths remind us of the rewards of gardening and as the days get steadily warmer it gets more and more enjoyable.

Pansies and primroses are a good choice for an instant splash of early spring colour in the garden; they are pretty hardy and will survive the cooler nights. Their bright colours are wonderful interspersed in clumps through the spring bulbs and if you keep dead heading they should keep going until the warmer summer months.

As the days begin to get warmer the weeds will usually be the first thing to burst through and my best advice to manage them successfully throughout the year is to get an early start. The easiest way to remove them is to moisten the soil and pull out by hand – making sure you get right underneath and pull the root out too or it will just grow straight back. Little and often makes the job easier to maintain.

April is an excellent month to focus on lawn care. If you have laid grass seed or turf it must be kept watered daily so if the English weather doesn’t provide the rain expected you will need to do it manually. Don’t let it dry out between watering and the next bout of showers!

With our increasingly wet winters and summers it is also very important to aerate your lawn in April which gives established grass more air and growing space and helps it to drain excess water away more efficiently. Easiest results are achieved with a lawn aerator machine or, if you haven’t got space, then a manual hollow tine aerator will do.

Finally don’t forget to sterilise your pots and trays ready for sowing seeds in a month or so.

Kate Gould is an award winning garden designer with more than a decade’s hands-on experience transforming gardens of all sizes and a regular exhibitor at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show where she has been awarded three Gold medals. kategouldgardens.com