• Buy mulch material Apply it to the soil surface as soon as the rain stops. Loose mulch, laid at a depth of 2in, will seal in moisture to sustain plants through the summer. Bark chips are invaluable for shrub and mixed borders; well-rotted manure suits the veg and fruit plot; while gravel sets off herb gardens and rockeries. To save lugging bags around in the rain, order online and have it delivered: creativegardenideas.co.uk (which gives free delivery on orders over £30), andlbsgarden warehouse.co.uk (free delivery on orders over £150), offer a wide range of mulch and other sundries.
• Blaze a trail Wet soils are muddy underfoot but a layer of bark chips will give you access to borders. Buy “play grade” bark chips to go underneath play equipment.
• Plan a path Make this the last year you squelch your way to the greenhouse or shed by putting in hard landscaped paths or steps, either stepping stones, a gravel path or something more ambitious. Now is the time to get in some quotes – most landscapers and designers are not as busy as usual this year.
• Go undercover If you don’t have a greenhouse, why not? You could be sowing and potting up in comfort, your plants would be growing in good light and your indoor windowsills would be clear of seed trays. For buying tips, see which.co.uk/home-and-garden, or compare styles and models at one of the big garden shows this year.
• Make a list Which flowers do well after heavy rain? You can refer back to your list when ordering bulbs and roses in autumn. For example, tulips vary greatly in their tolerance to rain – some shake it off while others have flowers that fill with water, flop and their stems break.