Preparing Your Garden & Pool for Spring
By Jerome Allen
One of the many joys of living in Ibiza is our wonderful climate. Spring comes early here, so while most of Europe is still stuck in the cold gray of winter, we are enjoying the warmth of the sun and the beauty of nature as it blooms all around us. It’s the time of year to plant our gardens and get them ready for the long season of outdoor living. A well kept garden brings style, grace and natural beauty to your home – whether it is a large expansive area or just a few lovely plants to bring life and colour.
The choice of plants and flowers is an essential element in creating the feeling that you want in your garden. Beautiful flowers that bloom at different times of the year can be mixed with fragrant herbs like lavender, rosemary, mint and thyme. Bougainvilleas, hibiscus and morning glories are larger plants that are very colourful. Whether you are creating a completely new garden, or just renovating and re-planting an existing one, it’s a good idea to seek the advice of a garden planner or your local garden centre. They can help you with all elements of the design, and in choosing which plants will thrive in different areas of your garden.
Those who live in apartments or have limited space, can bring the joy of nature into their homes using terra cotta pots in a variety of sizes and shapes. This gives you the opportunity to have several types of plants in a small area. If your home has a terrace or balcony you can grow climbing plants like grapes or fragrant flowering vines on rustic-looking vertical trellises.
Of course planting is only one aspect of getting your garden ready. It may be time to replace or recondition outdoor furniture that has been used for some years. It’s also good to check your wood and rattan furniture pieces to see if any need a new coat of lacquer for shine and protection. Even furniture that is in good condition may benefit from new cushions. Given our abundance of sunshine and the high humidity in the evenings, it is best to choose exterior fabrics that have the following properties: resistance to fading, water repellent and treated to be antifungal. The final touch to enhance the sensory experience of your garden can be a source of gently splashing water. A fountain with bubbling water might do the trick. But that will not be necessary if you have a swimming pool, and if you do, then it’s also time to get your pool ready for Spring.
“A well kept garden brings style, grace and beauty to your home”
Maintaining a pool involves two basic elements: regular cleaning and keeping the right chemical balance in the water. You can either do all of this yourself, or hire a pool maintenance company to do it for you on a regular basis. Cleaning includes vacuuming the pool floor, washing the walls and maintaining the filter system so that it works properly. For most pools the water is kept clean by adding the correct amount of chlorine, and making sure that the pH level is correct. PH is a number that expresses the acidity or alkalinity of water. It is based on a scale where 7 is completely neutral; lower than 7 means the water is acidic, and higher than 7 indicates that it is more alkaline. The levels in your pool should be between 7 and 7.4 for pH (neutral or slightly alkaline), and between 1.0 and 1.5 for chlorine.
At the end of the day your garden should be a reflection of your personal taste, and you can create that feeling with various design aspects. Mosaic tiles add a decorative touch to walls, tables and pots. Weathered wood benches, trellises and perhaps a rustic door will all contribute to the ambiance. Getting professional advice will help you to create a very personal space that feels right for you.