With springtime in full swing and the sun now shining, people across the UK are looking for other ways to enjoy the sun without leaving their homes due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Whether you have a garden or simply a sunny windowsill, there are lots of great plants that are perfect for this time of year.
Although most garden centres are closed to walk-in customers, there are plenty of online stores where you can buy seeds and equipment to get started.
These are five of the best plants to grow during spring.
Marigolds have a reputation for being one of the easiest plants to grow, so why not give them a go?
You should sow marigold seeds from March to May, and they’ll flower from summer until autumn. You can sow the seeds straight into the soil where they’re going to flower.
You should spread out the seeds about 30cm apart. When watering your marigolds, allow the soil to dry somewhat between waterings, then water well and repeat this process.
The petals from marigolds are actually edible and go great in a salad.
Sunflowers are classic flowers to add to your gardening efforts - they can grow to heights of up to two metres.
You’ll need a sunny but sheltered spot for your sunflower seeds, with good soil too. Sow your sunflower seeds from April to May, preferably in 10cm pots of multi-purpose compost.
Sow one seed per pot and cover them with about 1.5cm of compost and water well. Cover the pots with a plastic bottle cut in half to keep the seedlings warm.
For plants that grow over three feet tall, it’s a good idea to invest in some support for them. Tie the plants loosely to stakes with soft material as needed. Sit back and watch as your sunflower reaches new heights.
Morning glories are brilliantly coloured climbing plants with heart shaped leaves.
They come in pink, purple, blue, red and white - why not try planting one of each colour?
Before planting your seeds, they require a little bit of prep. They’ll need to be soaked in water for about a day or so, until you can see a tiny white growth emerge from the seed.
Place the sprouted seeds in soil, about six inches apart and lightly covered with soil. You’ll need to water them thoroughly. The seedlings will start to emerge within a week to ten days.
Dahlias boast a long flowering season and come in a huge variety of shapes and colours to choose from.
They will require fertile, moist but well drained soil and a sunny, sheltered environment to grow. The taller varieties will need some support systems as well.
Position your dahlia tubers upright and plant in a hole with well rotted organic matter. You should plant them just below the surface of the soil. Once planted, you’ll need to water them well. New shoots will start appearing about five weeks after planting.
Lilies are a classic flower in the gardening world, and also boast a huge variety of colours and shapes to choose from.
You’ll need a spot with a lot of sunlight. When planting lilies in containers, choose deep pots that offer a lot of drainage.
Plant the bulbs 12cm deep in soil and 15cm apart from any other plants you have on the go.
Taller lilies will require some support to help them grow. As the plants begin to flower, you should feed them with tomato feed every fortnight.