The Winter Garden
Here at Beautiful Borders, we are passionate about caring for your garden all year round. We often visit new customers, who have a misguided belief that you should put your garden ‘to bed’ in October. We don’t work in this way, because experience has taught us that for your garden to look its best in the warmer months, the work and preparation needs to be carried out over Autumn and Winter. Here is our reasoning behind this:
1. With most leaf fall happening in November, it is crucial that you or your gardener, regularly clear up, to prevent damage to your lawn and plants. Soggy leaves left on lawns and borders not only cause damage, but become a breeding ground for lots of unwanted pests!
2. Roses (climbers and shrubs) benefit from pruning in Autumn/Winter to reduce their height and help prevent damage over the winter, caused by wind, heavy rain and snow.
3. Winter presents an ideal time to improve the soil in borders. Once herbaceous plants are cut back, it makes the gardener’s job much easier, when applying soil improvers, such as homemade compost and leaf mulch. Digging the ground over in winter also helps the frost to break down heavy clay, introduces air into the soil and can help to uncover any insects that can then be eaten by birds or killed off by the cold.
4. During a mild winter it is not uncommon for weeds to carry on growing. Regular removal of weeds over winter helps to ensure that there isn’t a large amount of work to be carried out in spring.
5. Fruit tree pruning should be carried out towards the end of winter, just as the trees are coming out of their winter dormancy.
6. The last point (and my personal favourite), is that winter offers an opportunity to think about and plan any significant changes for your garden. Perhaps you would like to add additional borders or increase existing ones? Maybe there’s a couple of shrubs that don’t seem to be positioned correctly? Dig them out and move them while they are dormant and they won’t object too much!
I personally think that the garden is a place to be enjoyed all year round! I don’t want my garden to go ‘to bed’, I want it to be very much awake all year round, with colour added in pots and hanging baskets and to not feel overwhelmed in spring, by the task of bringing it back round!