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In the garden with Laetitia Maklouf: Easter Baskets

In the garden with Laetitia Maklouf: Easter Baskets

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westlondonmum.co.ukIt’s March. The weather is a pile of yuck, and I’m starting to wonder whether this winter will ever end…

But look, the thing about gardening is that it makes you feel better, however much or little you do…for me, it’s a bit like tidying my knicker drawer; instant cause for a bit of smug satisfaction and that lovely feeling of being in control (well, a bit). I get out in five-minute bursts, when it’s not raining and my daughter is otherwise occupied (school, playdate and yes, telly), and I only go out with the intention of doing one thing…that way, it never gets overwhelming.

I’ve pruned all the roses and cleared all the dead stuff…that’s my lot. Gardening proper will just have to start in April or May…and listen, THAT’S FINE (just don’t tell the ‘experts’).

Easter is almost upon us, and a bit of indoor furtling is the way to go. I love the whole Easter basket thing – basically a gathering of sunshine, eggy loveliness plonked into a pretty basket, with a ribbon and the odd bit of chocolate peeping through the foliage. They are easy to do and the very best presents for friends and family at this time of year.

 To make an Easter basket:

 You need:

  • A basket of your choice, preferably lined with plastic (although this is easy peasy to do yourself with an old plastic bag and a needle and thread).
  • Some little pots of Easter cheer to fill it with – take your basket with you to the garden centre and choose whatever little pots of colour take your fancy. I’ve used primroses, daffodils and a fern; five pots in total.
  • Some multi-purpose compost – you can buy this in small bags from the garden centre (negating the need to set foot outside at all)
  • A sheet of sphagnum moss to lay over any bare compost (optional)
  • Proper ribbon
  • Easter things – small animals, chocolate, whatever…

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Method

Make sure your compost, and the compost in your small pots of plants is damp but not wet before you start. This way, you won’t have to water when you’ve finished and it removes the guesswork involved with how much is needed.

Simply remove all the plants from their plastic pots and tease out the roots very gently to let them know they’re free. Now put a layer of compost at the bottom of your basket and arrange your plants how you want them, filling in carefully and slowly with compost, and firming as you go. Finally, cover any bare soil with torn-off bits of moss and then place your chocolate or animals in amongst the greenery. Tie a ribbon around the basket handle and there, it’s done.

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A basket like this will be very happy indoors as long as it’s not being blasted to high heaven by the central heating. If you want it in a heated room, then put it somewhere cool at night and it’ll last much longer. Push your finger into the compost every couple of days and if it feels dry then top up with a little water.

You can plant all these lovelies out in the garden when you’re finished with them, so it’s a gift that keeps on giving, so to speak.

W6 Garden Centre is located at the tip of Ravenscourt Park and are open year round.  They are passionate about plants and stock selections that will delight experienced and novice gardeners alike. They support British growers, and the majority of their plants come from specialist UK nurseries.

Over the next couple months our garden series will be brought to you by celebrity gardener Laetitia Maklouf and W6 Garden Centre. Stay tuned for April’s feature; you’ll be licking your lips…

 

 

 

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