Garden designer and TV presenter Ann-Marie Powell explains how to achieve your Garden Goal in time for summer

Garden designer and TV presenter Ann-Marie Powell explains how to achieve your Garden Goal in time for summer

This spring, garden designer Ann-Marie Powell has teamed up with Homebase to launch the Garden Goals campaign, showing you how you can transform your garden into the outdoor space you’ve always wanted in time for summer, no matter how much time or experience you have.

Getting the garden ready for summer can be a daunting task after a long winter and it can be hard to find the time or motivation to get out there and tackle it in one go. But as the weather warms up and the garden begins to come to life again, now is the time to start thinking about getting it sorted so that you can really enjoy being outdoors over the summer months.

When surrounded by post-winter chaos, I find that the best approach it is to set myself goals to keep me on track and use my time as productively as possible. It stops me jumping from one job to another, something I am prone to do when I see how much needs to be done!

Getting clear on my garden goals and having a picture in my mind of how I want my garden to look before I start, means come summer, I have the flowers, vegetables and outdoor space I pictured during the long, dark winter months. This year I plan to rejuvenate my borders for some later summer colour so I’m going to have some fun with Dahlias and other perennials. I’m going to make my border bigger too so that I can fit more plants in and I’ve got lots of pots that need a complete sort out so I’m going get them up and running this year.

We love entertaining friends in the garden so I’ll be tidying up the fire pit and getting the patio ready for some outdoor entertaining too.Patio - Dining outside

Whatever your goal, the best place to start is by doing a few quick jobs that make a big difference. Each of us has a different reason for creating a garden and we don’t all have the time to spend hours outside every day. But whether you’ve got an hour, a day or a week to devote to it, there’s always something you can do that will make a difference – like planting up a garden planter.

That’s what the Homebase Garden Goals Challenge is all about. Setting yourself a realistic Garden Goal and breaking it down into a manageable task list can make even the most challenging garden makeovers achievable. Approach your garden like this, and you’re far more likely to succeed and get the outdoor space you want this summer.

A little bit of forethought and careful planning can be the difference between creating a garden that’s perfectly fine and creating a garden that you love!

Here are my tips to get you started on your own Garden Goal Challenge:

  • First choose your Garden Goal. Do you want to add more colour to your garden? Do you dream of having the perfect space for entertaining? Would you like to encourage wildlife to visit your garden, create a fabulous edible garden or update your patio garden? Focus on your Goal and get started!
  • Once you’ve got a picture in your mind of what you want your garden to look like, work backwards and put together an achievable task list to help you get there.
  • Be realistic about how much time you have and break your task list down accordingly. If you have just half an hour after work each day, weed a small patch of flowerbed each evening until it’s done.
  • Start small like deadheading your plants for maximum summer flower. If you can achieve something quickly and easily it will give you the confidence to do more and reach your goal.
  • Garden arch - Purple flowersBreak bigger jobs down into small tasks and tackle each task, one at a time.
  • You don’t have to start from scratch. If you’re really strapped for time, use time-saving ideas to give you a head start. Buy ready-made herbs and plug plants or use long-flowering summer plants.
  • If you’re feeling overwhelmed begin by thinking about where you will get the most enjoyment from your garden and start from there.
  • If you lose your motivation, don’t panic. Wait for the next sunny day and start again. Keep the picture of your perfect summer garden in you mind to encourage you.
  • Remember, a little bit of gardening can reap big rewards

Visit to get hints and tips on the five garden goals: adding colour to your garden, creating a patio garden, creating an edible garden, encouraging wildlife into your garden and getting your garden ready for summer entertaining.