Winter Gardens

Winter is upon us and with Christmas round the corner it shouldn’t just be the house that gets decked out with festive cheer! There is lots of beauty and colour to be had in the garden too, you just need a little imagination.

Not many people venture out into their garden during Winter, but I would encourage you to make small displays you can see from the house, on the path to the front door or next to where you park the car (you get the idea) These simple projects will make a real difference to the garden and extend that period of interest as well as your enjoyment.

I really relish creating winter hanging baskets, things like Pansies, Skimmias, Ivy, small evergreens and winter flowering heathers make a pretty display. Why not have a go at trimming them up with some ribbon and a couple of spare baubles, such a small project can really uplift the spirits on a cold grey day.

Being creative with coloured stems and interesting bark is also another easy way to add Winter interest – plants like dogwoods which have stunning bright stems look spectacular all Winter when planted in groups. I grow them in my own garden and like to cut several stems of the orange and red varieties and push them into flowering containers which I can see from the house, they add great height and drama to the simplest of planted containers, and they are really effective when used to fill out a bunch of supermarket flowers in the house.

Berries also add wonderful colour in a garden, things like Cotoneaster, Vibernum, Hypericum, Pyracantha, and rosehips all add to a festive display with their glossy skins as well as being a fantastic source of food for the birds. Truss them up with fairy lights and Hey presto! You’ve brought Xmas magic to your borders!

Ever had a go at making your own Xmas wreath? it’s one of my favorite things to do and so satisfying, especially when most of it has been cut from the garden. I use all kinds of foraged evergreens in mine, plants like Hebe, Holly, Choisya and Camellia all look fab! Create small bundles of each and tie to a framework which has been covered in moss using florist wire. Be generous with your foliage and work in a clockwise direction as you add more, layering as you go. Once back where you started, use a large ribbon to decorate and anything else you fancy! I finish mine with things like dried orange slices, bundles of cinnamon sticks and the odd sprig of rosemary. The scent never fails to make me smile every time I open the door.

However before we get too carried away with the glitz of Christmas there are some not so glamourous jobs to be doing too:

  • Try and keep lawns and paths raked and clear of leaves.
  • Net your pond if you have one
  • Bring in any tender plants like Dahlias and Cannas.
  • Clean the greenhouse including the windows, you want as much sunlight as possible to get in and protect any over wintering tender plants.
  • Prune any fruit trees
  • If the ground isn’t frozen plant more tulips! You can never have too many!

As always myself and the team at Tong always love to see your garden pics! So please send them in or post on the Facebook page. I hope you all Love your Garden a little more this Winter and I wish you all a very merry Christmas.