Winter can be a hard time for your garden, there are many different plants that require care and attention so they can thrive in Spring but not everyone knows how.

We wanted to give you a few tips on winter care and the best plants you can add to your garden for winter interest.

Container Plant Care

If you have potted plants they can be more vulnerable to extreme weather such as torrential downpours (all too frequent in the UK) and those frosty nights, so it’s important to protect them.

  • If you are able move your pots to a sheltered spot, somewhere away from the winds and driving rain, ideally protected by a wall. Grouping all your pots together against the house can keep them warmer and more protected (safety in numbers!)
  • When the frost has been predicted try wrapping your pots up with bubble wrap, it’s the perfect insulation to protect the roots.
  • Check your potted plants weekly by pushing your finger into the compost about 2.5cm (1 inch) to see if they are wet. If they aren’t give them a little water if no rain is on the way. Of course the great British weather often provides a natural watering so if you find your plants waterlogged raise them up using pot feet (or anything similar – a house brick can do the trick) to ensure good drainage.

Tender or Young Plants

It’s important to protect tender and young plants from the winter months or else you could lose them come Spring. Typically, they all require a little trim once the stems and leaves start to fade. Carefully dig them up and once dry place them in trays filled with compost to keep them fed, ideally somewhere sheltered. This is required for many tender plants such as Dahlia tubers, Eucomis bulbs, Calla lily and canna rhizomes. If you have plants that aren’t native to the UK and prefer warmer climates such as Musa then cut off any old foliage and wrap bananas with fleece, hessian and straw to protect them. Or the more popular tree fern needs a little added help by packing as much straw as possible into the crown, tying up the fronds and wrapping them and the trunk in some fleece to ward off the frost.

Border Control

Over the winter plants have a limited food source so they require a little bit of nourishment to keep them going. Clear any borders of weeds or other detritus such as rotting flowers and cut back any perennials that are looking a bit scruffy, such as flopping stems or hostas whose leaves have turned mushy. However, don’t get too carried away! Any stems that are sturdy and upright leave well alone, even grasses whose leaves are still intact can be left as they will provide shelter for wildlife during the winter months. Perhaps the most important step is to feed the soil with a thick layer of mulch that contains bark, this will also retain moisture and keep the weeds at bay.

Plants for Winter Interest

We all like to enjoy the garden in the warmer weather and watch the flowers bloom away, brightening up the space but often the winter can become dreary and not provide much in the way of aesthetic delights. Here’s a list of plants we recommend to provide year round interest, especially in the winter:

  • Cornus Sanguinea ‘Winter Flame’ – the structure of this perennial lasts all year with striking red and orange stems that will also flower in the summer and produce berries in the autumn
  • Jasminum Nudiflorum ‘Winter Jasmine’ – this creeping shrub is a perfect climber or groundcover it will provide beautifully delicate yellow flowers in late winter
  • Crocus Chrysanthus ‘Snow Crocus’ – during the latter stages of winter they will begin to emerge and start to flower in early Spring
  • Lonicera Fragrantissima ‘Winter Honeysuckle’ – this is a truly spectacular plant as it is incredibly versatile, it can be a shrub or climber that produces delicate white fragrant flowers in later winter with berries that are perfect food for wildlife
  • Helleborus Niger ‘Christmas Rose’ – this stunning evergreen is a must in any garden and will bloom from late autumn until the end of winter, bunch these together to form a cluster of flowers

For more information about designing your garden call us today on 01164 422 617 or fill out our contact form and we will arrange for one of our friendly team members to give you a call.

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