Make the most of your garden this summer

Residents are being encouraged to get out into their gardens this Easter and give their garden a spring makeover.

Reading Borough Council is providing some simple tips and advice to residents so everyone can make some progress in their garden and make the most of their outside space this summer, whether they are a gardening expert or a novice.

With gardening providing an excellent and easy way to get fresh air and exercise without even leaving your home, what you take on doesn’t have to be daunting and even the most simple of tasks can help make a difference. Basic steps you can take include:

Lawn care

  • Now is the time to start mowing lawns regularly, but you may decide to leave all or part of it uncut for a few weeks at a time so daisies and other species can flower and provide nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinating insects
  • For your first mow or when cutting long grass, choose a higher blade setting to avoid overworking the mower. If the grass is really long, you may need to strim it first to reduce the overall height before mowing
  • Whilst it might be tempting to put off mowing to every two weeks instead of weekly, for healthier, greener grass it is best to stay on top of it and mow every week
  • Never mow wet or frosty grass - this can damage it and compact the soil. Wait until it has dried out or defrosted, or mow another day

Planting shrubs

  • Prepare flowerbeds before planting by raking away rocks, breaking up or hoeing the soil and adding compost to enrich the bed and encourage healthy plant growth
  • Plant trees, shrubs and perennials now, but wait until May to plant warm season flowers – at the moment cold nights and frosts are still possible which can kill them before they get established


  • Cut back shrubs that drop their leaves in winter now if you want to control their size, ready for flowering in the summer
  • Deadhead flowers as soon as they fade as this will speed up and encourage new blooms

For those residents who feel inspired to get out and work on their gardens, Reading Borough Council is on hand to help them remove garden waste with its collection service which costs less than £1.25 per week. Benefits of the service include:

  • Saving on fuel from fewer journeys to the re3 centre – and avoiding bugs and dirt in your car
  • Saving time – residents can simply fill up their green waste bins and we’ll do the rest
  • Reducing waste going to landfill by not putting garden cuttings in general waste
  • Encouraging you to get out in the garden and do more to keep it in shape

Sign up to the council’s fortnightly garden waste collections or call the council on 01189 373787.

Andy Edwards, Assistant Director for Environmental and Commercial Services, said:

“We know a lot of residents are already very active in their gardens which helps keep their neighbourhoods looking smart and keeps them active. Over 13,000 of these households are taking advantage of our fortnightly garden waste collections, which is good for the environment as it helps keep garden waste from going to landfill and allows us to recycle it properly. Now is a great time to join them and make use of the scheme to make your garden look great”.

If you don’t have access to a garden, thanks to the dedication of the council parks team you do have access to award-winning green spaces around the town. Both Forbury Gardens and Caversham Court Gardens won Green Flag Awards last year, recognising high-quality maintenance and climate-friendly practices. As well as a Green Flag, both sites have also received a Green Heritage Site award, which is awarded for parks that have conserved their historical features to a high standard and maintain their historic character and appearance, so the Easter holidays are a great opportunity to go and pay them a visit. These are just two of over 80 parks, outdoor facilities and open spaces in the borough that residents can enjoy this Easter.

Last updated on 06/04/2023