Making the most of your garden in winter calls for the expertise of a garden designer. Many gardens seem to lose their appeal as the leaves drop and the perennials fade from their autumnal glory. What can be done to enliven and enrich your outdoor space as the evenings draw in?
As our summer retreats it is a great time to get your thinking hat on about what you want to achieve in the garden for next year. Does your garden have a structure that will give it form throughout the winter? Evergreen shrubs, climbers and perennial grasses can help with this. Hardy shrubs like Lonicera x purpusii ’Winter Beauty’ and the evergreen Sarcococca confusa start to stake their claim and fill the winter garden with sweet scent.
Have you made provision for harbouring native wildlife through the winter months, encouraging beneficial insects and creatures to the garden by leaving some of the leaves under hedges or shrubs, creating log piles for creatures to take refuge. All these things will help the garden when it re-awakes in spring. Cotoneaster ’Hybridus Pendulus’ and other cotoneaster are smothered with bright red berries that carry well on in to the winter months and will help birds as the weather gets colder.
Winter months have different priorities in the garden but do beware about making it look too tidy even if you have had it designed to look sharp and functional during summer months. While clearing some leaves recently it was noticeable how worms had started taking the leaves down in to the soil – great work for aeration and enriching the earth – the trick is not to leave too many or it will have a detrimental effect.
Planning your garden so that it is a benefit and a pleasure all year round does require action and knowledge and you will find it beneficial to talk to a garden designer about how best to make use of your space so that it meets your requirements. it needn’t be a gloomy place just because very little is in flower. Getting the structure right adds longevity to the value of your garden.
Start working on it now – then you can enjoy it next year, any later and you may miss out!
Top Tip: Use a blower not a rake for clearing leaves – any leaves that worms have started to take down will be left and the ground will be less damaged.