There’s plenty to do in the garden to prepare for the winter season. Gardening will help you pass the time in a productive and positive way, getting you outdoors to enjoy some exercise and fresh air!
Gardens tend to look a bit dreary during the Winter months but by growing a few seasonal flowering plants you can brighten your garden for the season.
There are quite a few varieties of plant that suit the cooler months into Spring.
Azaleas are evergreen and the flowers vary from pale pink to cherry, coral or magenta. They are drought tolerant and frost resistant.
Camellias have gorgeous rosettes of white, pink, red or bi-coloured blooms and will flower from late Autumn to early Spring. It is an evergreen, upright shrub that looks good all year round, preferring a dappled shaded position.
Strelitzias (Crane flower/bird of paradise) is an exotic looking plant with bright orange petals and purple ‘tongues’. It resembles a ‘bird of paradise’ and is a statement plant for any garden.
Antirrhinums (snapdragons) can be relied on to provide colour throughout the colder months. Ranging from bright reds, bronze, yellow, orange, pink, purple and white. Keep them flowering for longer by deadheading regularly.
Hellebores (hellebores orientalis) is an evergreen perennial that starts flowering in early Winter.
The leaves are fan-shaped and the flowers vary from pink, wine, green or white. Hellebores prefer a dappled shade during the Summer months.
Iceland poppies will grow happily in full sun all through Winter and Spring if they are deadheaded continually. The poppies come in a variety of colours, red, pink, yellow, orange, cream and white and will bring the wow factor to your garden!
Calendulas are a lovely colourful plant to brighten any border, along with Salvias, which are both perennials (the Salvia is also from the Sage family). Salvias can have pretty blue and white flowers, or pink, lavender, yellow, violet or white. Other colourful plants to choose from are Zinnias, Celosia, Delphiniums, Phlox, Portulaca, Nicotiana, Dianthus, Begonias, Godetia, Lobelias, Rudbekias and Pansies. It may be Winter, but you can still have colour in your garden!
Winter garden maintenance
A little prevention now can save you lots of hard work in spring when the garden comes back to life, so don’t let the cold weather keep you indoors. Maintenance such as the regular mowing of lawns, weeding and pruning of shrubs is essential. Follow these simple rules to nurse the garden through the cooler months.
- Mulch pots and garden beds to keep weeds at bay, pulling them out as soon as they appear. Wait until after rain to remove weeds from beds and between pavers as the soil is softer, making them easier to pull out with roots attached.
- Plan a companion-planting system as a solution to pest control. Certain plants act as deterrents to pests and can be used in place of chemical controls. Try onions and garlic near roses to repel aphids. Marigolds are also a winner for repelling pests.
- Remove wintergrass from lawns as soon as it appears. If you don’t get to this weed in time, it dies down when the weather warms up but leaves seeds that pop up again next year.
So get the wellies on, switch the TV off and get the whole family into the garden this weekend. It will be rewarding for all!