With added time on your hands to let your green fingers flourish, Chelsea Physic Garden offers five tips on how to manage your own blooms at home


1. Think about what it is you are aiming to achieve. Are you trying to encourage bees and pollinating insects? Are they merely for effect, purely for privacy or all of those things? So, choose your plants carefully and, if you’re not sure, there is plenty of advice out there online or at your local garden centres.

2. Less is more, so try not to get carried away and over plant. It’s better to have fewer, stronger, healthier plants that perform well.

3. Regular maintenance is important if you want to achieve the best results. Some plants may prefer less watering than others but, crowded together, competition is fierce so all window boxes and containers will need assessing regularly, even over the winter months. Maintenance, such as deadheading, removing fading leaves and weak growth is also important – after all, less is more. Most importantly, feed your plants once every couple of weeks – from spring to autumn – with a suitable plant food.

4. Plan ahead and your window boxes and containers will look great all year round. In early Autumn, it really is worth thinking about under planting with spring bulbs. Autumn and late-Spring are good times to freshen up the soil. Some gardeners prefer to start afresh and throw away all the compost, whilst others prefer to replace some of the old compost with fresh medium. There are, of course, pros and cons to both methods.

5. Finally, do think of the environment. Whilst our window boxes and containers may be making our streets look prettier and greener, do consider your carbon footprint and try to avoid being wasteful, maybe by considering donating your unwanted plants to a local community garden or neighbours – someone may be glad of them.