As the flowers of summer begin to die out, it can be tempting to just leave your garden to its own devices over the winter months.
However, with a little effort, it can be just as beautiful at that time of year as during the spring and summer. Plus, if you want a low maintenance garden in the spring with colourful blooms galore, it’s worth taking advantage of a clear day to get outdoors and prepare your outside space for next year.
At the very minimum, you will need to remove dead and dying plants from your garden as this prevents plant disease and obviously tidies it up, but there is so much more you can do. Avant Homes has gathered some top tips for making your winter garden gorgeous.
Plant up winter pots
By planting up some winter containers you can add interest and colour to your garden throughout the coldest months of the year. The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) advises that you choose heavy stoneware or pottery for the job as it is more likely to withstand the harsh winds. Don’t forget, light levels are low at this time of year, so make sure you place the pot in an area where it’s more likely to be exposed to sunlight. However, you need to get the balance right because the pot will have to be placed near the house so it is protected from the wind. It is worth buying plants that have already grown for an instant, finished effect.
Top winter plants
What can instantly cheer up a dull winter’s day more than the sight and scent of hundreds of beautiful blooms? The RHS says many winter plants are scented, shade tolerant and can be moved to containers if required. The society has some fantastic suggestions for shrubs, climbers, herbaceous perennials and bulbs on its website to plant at this time of year which will create a sea of colour in your outside space.
Your vegetable garden
There are plenty of vegetables that can grow over the winter months. Plant and seed supplier Thompson & Morgan says most winter vegetables are fully hardy and cope with cold weather – but if a frost threatens, you can always put some fleece over your vegetables to provide some added protection. Some of the best - and tastiest - vegetables to grow throughout winter include onion, garlic, perpetual spinach and asparagus. If you have a greenhouse, you could use this to cultivate vegetables that need a little more protection from the cold, such as carrots, winter salads and pak choi.
Make sure you rake up leaves that have fallen onto your lawn as this will enable you to create a brilliant type of compost called leafmould. The RHS says the best quality leafmould is produced from the leaves of oak, beech or hornbeam so you’re in luck if you have these trees in or near your garden. To make this compost, all you need to do is put the leaves in a bin liner, moisten them if they’re dry, and then pierce holes in the bag before tying up the top loosely.
Another way in which you can make the most of your garden over winter is to use it for outdoor entertaining. You may shiver at the thought, but by investing in an attractive outdoor heating system, you’ll be able to hold some fantastic parties. Outdoor fires are a roaring trend (pardon the pun) at the moment and can act as a stunning focal point for your garden. There are many different types and styles available on the market, including fire pits and chimineas. They are great for gathering friends and family around for roasting marshmallows, sipping some mulled wine, or even just for sharing some pre-Christmas chatter.
If you follow these tips, not only will your garden look fabulous, but getting outside in the garden during winter will keep up your vitamin D levels and help you get some fresh air and exercise, making it the ideal winter activity.
The Royal Horticultural Society offers year-round tips to make the most of your garden. Learn more by visiting the website at https://www.rhs.org.uk/.