Altons Garden Centre Reveals Ways To Get Into Gardening In 2013

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The new year is a time for optimism and fresh starts - and although gardening may not feature on many resolution lists, Altons Garden Centre insist there are many ways people can ensure 2013 is their most green-fingered year yet.

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With winter persuading most people to avoid the winter cold and focus instead on indoor activities, gardening can be something of an afterthought until it is too late.

But according to Altons Online Garden Centre, now is the time to get into the garden. Below, Essex’s largest garden centre has put together five things people can do right now to get started in 2013:

1. Make a Garden Plan – Any successful garden starts with a comprehensive garden plan. Winter is the perfect time to sit down with a paper, pen and some gardening books to make lists of plants that grow well in your climate and zone, as well as some ideas about the overall look and feel you'd like to achieve.

2. Get Advice from Gardening Experts – Once you have an idea of what you'd like to plant in your garden, it's time to talk to the experts. An Alton’s spokesperson said: "Expert advice is the key to a successful garden. Our staff is made up of gardeners who are happy to help you achieve your gardening goals. After all, there's nothing a gardener likes to talk about more than gardening."

3. Organize Your Gardening Tools – January is a great time to head to the garden shed and take stock of your equipment. Discard tools that are broken or no longer usable and make a list of new tools that are needed. Alton's gardening equipment includes high quality trowels, cultivators and planting knives, all designed to make your gardening tasks much easier.

4. Start Your Soil Preparation Now – If you're working with an existing garden space, now is an excellent time to clean up winter debris like fallen twigs and leaves. Sunny winter days are perfect for repairing garden fencing, installing lighting, establishing walkways, installing an arbour or even adding a trellis for climbing plants.

5. Consider Adding Planters and Hanging Baskets to Your Garden Plan – Installing planters or hanging baskets around your home is a great way to update your home's exterior décor. They're also very easy to maintain, making them perfect for beginner gardeners. Make sure you note the amount of sun each planter or basket will get when placing them so you can choose the appropriate plants.

Now is the perfect time to plan and organize your gardening efforts for 2013. To view the huge range of different outdoor and garden products at Altons Online Garden Centre, visit

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James Oxley