Every winter, your beautiful exterior loses its appeal – but that doesn’t have to happen with some simple winter garden maintenance. A little care and attention will guarantee that it remains glorious throughout the colder months.
Here, we offer some effective tips to create a winter wonderland that looks fresh out of the pages of gardening magazines.
Winter garden maintenance jobs
You can ensure the elements don’t cause your exterior to turn into a scene of chaos by making a plan to continuously care for it. So, wrap up warm, it’s time to complete some easy winter garden maintenance tasks:
Carry out a clean-up
Start by removing anything that obstructs the view of your once-picturesque garden. Deal with any troublesome weeds, prune dead or damaged stems and branches, and rake up leaves. The latter will allow your lawn to take in sunlight, water and air, so that it thrives rather than thatches. And this area can be kept tidy too with regular mowing during drier spells. Whilst it won’t need to be trimmed as regularly as in the summer, you should still ensure conservation.
Make your exterior immaculate
Maintenance should extend further than just the garden as well. Strip patios and decking from any algae, dirt, or anything else unsightly. Tidy up and store any structures like pots and hanging planters, and don’t forget to clean and repair any tools – otherwise, when it comes to summer, you’ll find garden maintenance even more difficult!
Take care of beds, bulbs and trees
Re-shaping garden beds at this time of year can minimise the effect of the elements. Forming raised beds is particularly successful. They are great for preventing weeds, pests and soil compaction. Additionally, they provide effective drainage and stop soil from being washed away by heavy rainfall. Keep the garden beds fertile through winter by mulching and feeding them with well-rotted manure.
You can add to the future growth of your garden too. Plant bulbs and bare-root trees, shrubs and perennials – though only when the ground is not waterlogged or frozen. We’ll cover some ideal plants later on in this article.
Responsibilities for looking after wildlife in winter
Winter garden maintenance tasks like pruning shrubs are necessary as they ensure wildlife flocks to your exterior, creating a sense that your garden is still well and truly full of life. There are a variety of ways you can care for these creatures:
Guarantee they are well-fed
Refrain from cutting off those shrubs which grow berries, as these are a valuable food source for animals like birds. You can also leave out food such as seeds, sultanas and raisins – make sure to keep supplies stocked up so that they will fly back for more!
Make the space habitable
Birds and other wildlife are more likely to return if your garden is fit for them to live in. Regularly top up birdbaths with water – this is particularly important during winter to preserve the good condition of their feathers. You can create a homely area for insects and hedgehogs with twigs, bamboo, sunflower stems and leaves. Another idea is to install man-made residences such as bird and hedgehog houses or insect hotels.
Keep ponds from freezing over
If you have any sea life inhabiting a pond, you’ll want to guarantee that the water doesn’t become frozen. You could place a floating tennis ball on top. The movement of it means the water moves too, ensuring it can’t completely ice over
(unless in very cold conditions). Alternatively, you can purchase an air pump which aerates and circulates the water.
How to get enjoyment out of your garden in winter
Winter garden maintenance and allowing the natural world to inhabit your space help create a little slice of paradise in your own backyard, and you can maximise the enjoyment you get out of it with some additional potting.
Plant winter flowering shrubs and perennials
There are a huge variety of plants that thrive at this time of year. Hellebores, also known as the Christmas rose, bloom well in the winter and add a touch of colour. Skimmia offer shiny red berries, and viburnum shrubs provide ones in a deeper shade or a dark blue colour. Hamamelis blossoms in yellow, orange, and red – making them perfect for both winter and autumn.
Introduce evergreens and architectural planting
Interest can also be obtained from evergreens such as tolerant heathers, along with heucheras and camellias. Unsurprisingly, hollies are a seasonal favourite. Additionally, architectural planting is great for adding a focal point. Bamboo stands tall and provides more privacy, and ornamental grasses can endure a wide range of conditions and don’t require much feeding.
Place winter planters and containers
You could put some of this greenery in wintery planters and containers to maximise space. Traditional stone or festive-coloured pots can contribute to the wonderland theme. This means that, whatever weather the season brings, your garden will nevertheless be bright and inviting amongst the winter backdrop.
Add other exterior pieces
Why not think further beyond gardening with features that will give you enjoyment year-round? Choose a garden sculpture for an extra touch of beauty. You could select a pergola for a walkway, or a summerhouse or seating area for some outdoor leisure time. Implementing these structures sooner will mean the luxury area will be ready to relax in by the time you head outside in spring and summer.
When planning for your winter wonderland and beyond, you might require a little assistance to guarantee your vision is made reality. Here at Dreamscape Gardens, we can offer this, as well as a unique design process, landscaping, and the carrying out of any winter garden maintenance tasks you require.