As the real cold of winter finally kicks in with the South East of England finally freezing– ironically, already we turn our attention to Spring.
As a seasoned gardener – now in my 24th year – I have pretty much seen it all by now ! In midwinter the garden seems almost dead – lifeless and cold as it is. But two weeks ago I saw the Aconites appear, an early flowering group of low growing shade lowing plants. Their yellow colour flowers is the first sign of another cycle in the season.
As a company, we spend a lot of the winter period dead wooding the bare shape of fruit trees and also non fruit trees, which need crossing branches removed and rejuvenation with some of our attention.
Be careful – try to avoid compacting the existing soil and creating a mud soaked lawn – use planks or find a way around the perimeter of the garden to get to where you need to go.
Planning is one of those jobs that can be done from an armchair – hot drink in hand! The way to approach any garden is to ask yourself a very basic question – what do I want from it?
Families have very different needs from other households and also maintenance levels do need looking at and finding ways to keep the work down.
If planting and colour in the garden are a factor, then sit down with pen and paper and do a layout drawing of borders. It isn’t complicated and you don’t needs to be an artist or draughtsman to do it.
Try and use triangles as a shape to join together plants – so 3 of a particular variety is a good starting point. Use height and spared of the plants as a factor to be considered and used to produce a harmonious plan.
Do not be tempted to rush out and return with a trolley load of plants just yet – let the soil warm up a bit and reduce the risk of those expensive purchases dying on you.
Leave the lawn alone as I said earlier – keep off it and wait till that first Spring feed can be applied and the wonderful transformation that can follow, as light levels intensify and day length increases.
So – there is hope – it just lies rather dormant at the moment – but Winter is the time to think and to dream of times to come and hopefully a garden in tune with your needs.