My tips for tidying up your garden


Richard Jackson With the launch of my garden rescue campaign, I thought I'd offer you my top tips for tidying up your unruly garden…

Perk up your patio

Give it a good sweep, raking up any leaves lurking in the nooks and crannies, then use an old penknife (or, even easier, QVC’s Drive Cleaner), to whip out any weeds and moss growing in the joints between the paving slabs.
Finally give the paving a good scrub with hot soapy water. That should get rid of moss, algae – plus any beer and wine stains from last year’s parties! For extra cleaning power, hire a pressure washer for the day (it’ll cost about £20) and your patio will gleam like new.

Spring clean furniture

Resin tables and chairs can be cleaned with hot soapy water. Hardwood furniture gradually turns grey over time. If you want to restore it to the original colour, wash it, let it dry, and then apply a coat of teak oil.

For the finishing touch, plant up a few pots for instant colour. For the best impact, pack in lots of plants – I like to use seven pansies per 30cm pot. Feed them once a week with a high potash plant food like Flower Power, take off the finished flowers as they fade, and enjoy a wonderful display from now until the end of May.

Boost your borders

If any plants have died due to the winter cold, dig them out and replace them. Try to choose a replacement which adds something extra to your garden, like an evergreen to give all year round structure and colour or a fragrant plant to perfume the patio.

Cut back sprawling plants

Trim back any sprawling shrubs and dead stems on plants like hardy fuchsias. Overgrown climbers such as honeysuckles and summer jasmine should be cut back hard, to around 30cm from the ground. It may seem drastic, but they’ll soon re-grow and they’ll flower much better too.

Fork over the top couple of inches of soil, removing any old leaves, stones or seedling weeds. It’s the gardening equivalent of hoovering the carpet – the fresh clean soil will set your plants off a treat. Sprinkle on some Growmore to kick start the new season’s growth.

Keep weeds at bay

Over the coming weeks, the weeds may well re-appear so  keep them at bay, as well as improve the look of your borders, by mulching the soil with a 7.5cm layer of bark chips. The bark will also help reduce moisture loss so you won’t have to water as much during the summer!

Give your lawn some TLC

First of all, rake off any leaves or twigs, and then cut the lawn. Don’t set the blades too low or you’ll damage the grass, a cutting height of about 4cm is ideal. Then give it a professional finish, by trimming the edges with lawn shears. Don’t dodge this job, as it makes a huge difference to the look of your lawn and garden.

Sadly, the winter weather has left most lawns looking the worst they’ve been for years. A couple of days after cutting it, give your lawn a much needed boost by treating it with a quick acting fertiliser like Richard Jackson’s Lawn Magic and in just a few days it should turn emerald green and  positively glow with health!

If your lawn is looking very patchy and threadbare, rake the ground gently to loosen the soil, spike it with a fork, sprinkle in some Growmore ( 70g per sq.m), followed by a handful of fresh grass seed( approx 35g per sq.m ). Rake the seed in, keep it well watered and the new grass will quickly fill in the patches, transforming your lawn to look as good as new.

Enter our garden rescue competition to win a garden consultation with Richard plus £1000 of products!


  1. Una April 17, 2010 at 12:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Richard
    We havent spoken before. Im an enthusiastic beginnershall we say!
    I bought the Chinese scented tree peonies last year from QVC. I followed your instructions to the absolut letter. Got the exact pot sizes, John Innes compost etc. There were 3 in the collection. During the winter I moved them closer to the fence to protect them a bit from the wind. I wasnt so worried about temperature as you said they could survive to approc minus 20. I live in Fife, not near the coast though. The lowest temperature we had during the winter was -11. Unfortunately, only ONE plant has survived. Its got really strong luscious looking leaves, but the other 2 are just blackened twigs. I feel a bit disheartened as I dont really know what I did wrong, and maybe I just dont have green enough fingers, so Im tempted to give up before I begin. Any ideas what I may have done?
    Regards Una

  2. Karen Main April 19, 2010 at 11:53 am -  Reply

    Hi Riachard,
    My mom purchased the collection of three bare root roses. They arrived in February. We planted them in three large pots and followed the planting instructions. She has watered and fed them but unfortunatley they are showing no signs of any shoots or colour. Infact, they look like brown dead twigs compared to all her other roses which are staring to shoot and show signs of growth. Please can you help?

  3. Mr Brian Shrimpton April 26, 2010 at 12:23 pm -  Reply

    Morning Richard could you please help me a long time ago Q.V.C sold a large applicator for cementing in between Paving slabs on the patio [it was similar to a bath sealing gun] I find myself in need of one but cannot find one anywhere any help would be welcome …thanks Brian Shrimpton

  4. Aileen Darbyshire June 9, 2010 at 10:12 am -  Reply

    Hi Richard,
    I purchased trailing rosebud geraniums in March, they have grown into good healthy plants, however I am disappointed with the colour I expected rose pink, they are so dark almost black
    I would be interested in yours comments.
    Regards Aileen Darbyshire

  5. Pat Lovejoy August 15, 2010 at 10:02 am -  Reply

    Hi Richard
    A few weeks ago you had a product which went between the slabs in the garden and helped to loosen weeds and things growing between the slabs. I wanted to order it when i saw it but we were moving house and thought that i would wait. Now I cant find the product – can you help please?
    Pat Lovejoy

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