This article is contributed by Eric. He work at Millrace Garden Centre. Outside of work he is a keen gardener and love growing interesting veggies, perfect for cooking.
With a little preparation and planning, winter can be a great time to enjoy your garden. Despite the harsh weather many plants thrive from November to February, and there’s surely no sight more stunning than a snow-covered lawn on a bright winter’s morning, or the shimmer of frost on a garden shed roof.
So, how should you go about making your garden gorgeous this season? Luckily for you, we’ve gathered together a few ideas.
Make it evergreen
An easy way to add a splash of colour into your garden is to plant some evergreens ready for the winter. Despite the name, these plants can offer a wide variety of colour.
The holly and the ivy…
There’s a reason these plants are sung about every Christmastime – they’ve long been a favourite of winter gardens, and it’s not difficult to see why. The pop of colour of holly berries is a valuable addition to any winter garden, especially when it snows. What’s more, the spiny leaves can serve as a useful protection against intruders!
For this reason, it’s a good idea not to place holly in a flowerbed where you will be working often, as it can prove tricky to avoid the spikes when pruning your other plants. Plant your holly in with shrubbery, if you can – and make sure you plant both a male and female plant close together if you want to see those berries.
If you can bear to snip any of the leaves (make sure you wear thick gloves!) they’ll look fantastic in any wreaths or table centrepieces you make for Christmas.
The deep green colour of ivy leaves is simply beautiful, and the prominent veins provide welcome interest. Choose from a three, four or five pointed leaf. If placed in the sun your plant will grow berries, which ripen in wintertime and offer a much-needed source of food for blackbirds and thrushes.
Drip, drip, drop
No winter garden would be complete without a few snowdrops. Despite their delicate appearance these flowers are surprisingly hardy – however, watch out for squirrels digging up the bulbs! Plant the bulbs in late April or May to see blooms between January and March.
The nights draw in much more quickly during the colder months, and for many of us it is dark when we set off for work, and dark when we return home again! In order to be able to enjoy your garden during winter weekdays it might be a good idea to consider lighting options, especially with so many solar-powered garden lights available now.
A string of white fairy lights will look magical when arranged on a trellis or archway, and stake lights along a pathway will prove not only pretty, but useful. However, if you’re going to be spending time out in the garden (wrapped up warm, we hope!) lanterns are a wonderful option, as the soft, warm glow of candlelight is, we think, the best way to illuminate your treasures.
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