Gardening has so many positive facets. Not only is it good for our mental health, helps wildlife – bees and butterflies – but a front garden with kerb appeal can boost the value of your home.

Thornton Heath is lucky enough to have an In Bloom competition recognising the efforts of residents and businesses in making their green space look nice.

Here local garden design company Polly’s Perennials offers a few basic tips to help create a winning front garden.

Gardens don’t create themselves they need hard work but the results can be extremely rewarding. When starting a garden make sure you have a plan. 

Do a bit of research on what plants you like. Perennials are those that continue to grow year after year; annuals typically bloom just a season.You can extend the growing season by planting bulbs and selecting shrubs offering all year round interest. Some plants prefer to be in a pot while others only like the ground.

If you decide you want something because it looks nice then make sure you look at the instructions as not all plants like the same soil or full sun.

Plants need water. The best time to water is early morning or late evening. Weeds if you don’t want them plant really closely together or use a thick layer of bark chip to control them. Alternatively use a weed mat and cut the plants in to it.

Slugs and snails love young plants so get protection! Also your garden doesn’t need to be formal it can be informal. Think wild meadow which is great for wildlife and can be done with seeds sown in to a lawn. For a cottage garden look buy: Hardy geraniums, Geums, Verbena, Erysium, Euphorbia and Poppies. 

 Where to buy plants: Crossways or Woodcote nurseries both  in Purley  or Secret Garden at Crystal Palace.