The winter months are now upon us and the impact of this is evident in your garden and outdoor spaces. By now most trees have dropped there last leaves, late summer flowers are spent and our deciduous ‘treasures’ have slipped into dormancy. On a frosty winter morning, the last thing on my minds is the garden –I’m more interested in keeping the woodbox full. If you wanted to brave the outdoors later on a winter morning, you could work through a couple of jobs to leave the garden looking loved for winter.
Start by a good leaf clean up, collecting them for compost or the green bin. Next, give anything that’s got leggy a quick prune back, and cut back any foliage that’s turned mushy (ie Hostas) or any remaining dead flower canes. Now spread a 75-100mm layer of bio-blend or similar composted mulch over your beds, watching not to ‘collar’ trunks or stems. The mulch will help feed your garden, suppress weeds and retain moisture in the coming season. I’ve just done this at home and now I can relax for winter.
Winter is a great time to reflect how your garden is working for you and to consider any changes you are wanting to make. Visually, your garden is just its evergreen bones and you may see areas that need attention, or are ready for redevelopment. If its beyond your skill set, the services of a landscape architect will ensure your efforts are well spent.
Before you call a professional, think about what is you want to achieve. It may be that you want to create a new outdoor living space or want to reduce the workload in your garden. If you have access to accurate scale plans of your house and section, these will be a help to your designer. If you don’t, its not a problem as your designer will do a full site survey and measure during the design process. A good designer will listen to your thoughts and then communicate verbally and with initial sketch drawings how they see the design possibilities.
If you want to be enjoying a new outdoor space this summer, to avoid disappointment, you will need to get be putting a plan together now, so any site works can be undertaken in spring.