It’s been quite some time since I have written, I am so happy to be sat here writing again, in fact, the last piece I wrote was about depression and how the garden helps bring you out of those dark places, it is safe to say, a year on and my life has turned 180 and is very much in the positive category - not that I had it bad last year but I wasn’t in the most positive place three years ago...
Anyway, less of that, let me tell you a little about the business before I give you a few tips for the next three months!
So the business is in an incredible position right now (side note, my business being Me, My Spade and I) we have gone from a small garden maintenance business where I would offer help to clients with garden designs and recruit local landscape business's to, helping our clients with my ideas for their gardens or planting plans for flower beds, to becoming a fully-fledged garden designer, with a three-man landscape team building gardens from scratch and the maintenance team coming in and planting the gardens after they have been built! all this and we are in the midst of a Pandemic!!
I am lucky to have a full-time office who pride themselved on communication, our industry seems to be the last of the wild west of business, I hear many times a month when meeting new clients, “so and so came round but we haven’t heard back from them” or “we have emailed and called so and so but no answer” well I am seriously lucky to have Barbara at the office even if she bullies me!
The office help has been a big part of the growth but with growth has come interest in working for us, this has been a joy as we have six full-time gardeners and three part-time, all of whom are very hard working, knowledgeable and passionate about gardens, this, coupled with Babs has made my life so much easier and freed me up to enjoy visiting the guys in the gardens, making sure the gardens are all going in the right direction and planning the following weeks work, as well as meeting new clients and quoting for the work they require!
Ok, enough of this disgusting self promotion... let's get down to the gardens!
At this time of year, we find cold and wet weather at the forefront of the garden, Too snowy, we can’t work. Too wet, we can’t work. Too frozen, we cant work...Wrong!! For me, January is an integral month for the garden, after the Christmas break we generally find there is a little tidying up to do as we normally haven’t been in the garden for the holiday shut down, after this, we then start the year-long slog on the flower beds!
Cutting back each bed and deep digging the soil is important, this allows the soil to oxygenate and turn in last years compost into the ground, this helps them with keeping the soil PH level steady and encourage worms into the beds, worms are the best! Depending on how many beds you have this generally takes up the month of January.....
After the deep dig in January, we then make a start in changing the beds as and where needed, by this I mean sharpening the lawn edges up, lifting unwanted plants, or lifting and splitting plants, those splits can be used in other areas of the garden or even thickening up clumps of plants to make bigger floral displays in the summer.
Once you are happy with the changes I encourage you to compost, I insist all of our gardens are top dressed with composted bark or mushroom compost, a thick layer of this will help feed the plants, make the bed look more presentable and also keep moisture in the soil through warmer times of the year.
As you work away in the beds throughout the year the compost will slowly get turned in to the soil so will naturally dissipate, the January deep dig merely to ensure the last of the compost is dug in properly.
Generally, the quietest month of the year for Me, My Spade & I, prep is done and now it is time to wait for the warmer weather, so what do we do in March? March is best used for Lawn prep, we have incredible lawns throughout our gardens, this is no accident, we work tirelessly throughout the year at specified times to encourage the very best grass growth, to achieve this we need to do more than mow and throw out some feed!
The process in March is as follows...
Feed and weed
This process will give your lawn a great start to the year, it will help with drainage, remove moss and dead thatch that will have accumulated in the summer months, it will also help with removing some of the weeds in the lawn and scoring the root system that lies beneath the soil, all of which will ensure you will have a healthy lawn this summer..... don’t be fooled though, you will still need more work but that is soon to come!
This is where I will leave you, I hope you have taken on a few ideas and use them in your gardens, however, if you feel you need help we are but a phone call away... or email! Who knows, you may get to virtually meet Babs! I can’t recommend enough following us on all forms of social media, we have daily posts of current projects and stories of our gardens the boys are working in, you may find it informative and inspiring!
We also have a weekly newsletter where I update you on the business, any issues that may
have arisen, weekly detailed jobs we need to complete in the gardens at specific times of the year or just general gossip from around the water cooler, if you would like to receive that email please email Info@memyspadeandi.com with the subject heading Newsletter, we will add you to the growing list of names who like to read the weekly goings-on at MMSI!
Lastly, we look after gardens big or small, whether it is the landscape projects we are building or gardens we are maintaining, all or any inquiries are welcome!