|Tags||'top tips' design and inspiration gardening fun plants and wildlife cleaning and maintenance spring and summer autumn and winter bridges occasions health and wellbeing food children garden arches show all posts|
When you're rushing about in the cold and rain all day long, all you probably want to do is get home, stick the heating on and snuggle up on the sofa for a warm and cosy night in front of the TV.
But after spending the summer months making your garden into a seasonal haven to relax and entertain in when the weather is nice, your outside space can start to look a little abandoned and neglected in the colder climate.
Even if you're not planning on spending time outdoors during the winter, you still want to keep your garden looking tidy to admire through your window, and keep on top of the upkeep to save a huge job as the weather turns warmer.
Here, we've put together a few tips to make sure you can enjoy your garden during the winter months as much as you do during the summer.
1) Keep your bird table stocked
Birds are extremely hungry during the winter months due to the colder climate. Filling up your bird table regularly will not only be of benefit to the birds, but you will get the added bonus of being able to watch the wildlife from the comfort of your own home. During the winter months, you could catch sight of birds such as robins, which can be exciting for all the family. Keep your bird table clean and stocked up with treats for your feathered friends.
2) Create a winter wonderland
Your garden may be cold in this weather, but by creating a mini winter wonderland, you and the kids can enjoy it even when the temperatures drop. Add some solar powered lights to your flower beds and the edge of the lawn, and string white fairy lights around the fences and any trees to create a magical garden setting. Avoid going too crazy with coloured lights as they may look too festive once the Christmas season has passed.
3) Get a log burner
Create a new feature in your garden with a log burner. Not only will it keep you warm if you do venture outdoors on a winter's day, but they also look attractive and can be the perfect place to entertain. Wrap up warm and spend the evening sat around it toasting marshmallows or roasting chestnuts.
4) Protect your pond
If you have a garden pond, you may want to take some extra steps during the winter months to ensure that your fish and pond animals stay safe. Fish are incredibly resilient to temperature change, and learn to go into 'hibernation' at the bottom of the pond during cold periods, but they do still need oxygen. If your pond freezes over, place a saucepan of boiling water on top of the ice to melt a hole on the surface.
There are also ways to prevent your pond from icing, such as placing inflated balls or plastic bottles with a few stones in them on top of the water's surface. The movement of the items mean there is a much smaller chance of the ice forming. You can also switch off the pump and remove the filter so that ice does not damage it, as well as clear away any dead plants and leaves in your pond so that they do not decompose and create toxic gases.
5) Look after your furniture and outdoor toys
Garden furniture is fantastic in the summer but during the winter months, it probably doesn't get as much use. Store your furniture in the garage or shed if you have room as this will ensure it is not damaged by the cold and rainy weather. Invest in a garden furniture cover if you don't have much storage space available.
All our garden furniture is protected and pressure treated, but during the winter months these can be retreated to ensure the wood lasts as long as possible.
If you have a trampoline or any outdoor toys and games, make sure they are all secured down as they a susceptible to be blown over and around your garden during high winds.
6) Keep your garden safe
During cold weather, your paths, decking and bridges will become slippery, especially if the weather forecast predicts snow any time soon. Make sure that everywhere is safe to avoid any accidents by shovelling any snowfall and sprinkling salt on any ice to thaw it out. Another alternative to salt is organic cat litter, as salt can wash into flowerbeds and sterilise the soil. Make sure your family wear shoes with good grip if they do venture into the garden. It's also a good idea to clear any wet leaves away using a brush or leaf blower, as these can also become slippery.
7) Protect your plants
The colder months can play havoc with the plants that you spent all summer preening and looking after. Leaves can become frost-bitten and due to the cold and wet soil, the roots can rot. It's important to protect them to ensure they last the season and into the warmer months of next year. For general protection in your garden, apply a layer of bark or mulch around herbaceous perennials and grit around plants to stop too much moisture rotting the stems and going down to the roots.
Following our tips will ensure that your garden stays in excellent condition over the winter months. You can still enjoy your garden by adding a few extras and wrapping up warm.
If you're having a festive party or New Year celebrations, why not put up a gazebo or marquee in your garden and create a winter wonderland for your guests to enjoy?
Let us know your top tips for a winter garden in the comments below!