We are offering our favourite top tips for this time of year. It’s one way to reduce your waistline after a period when it is traditional to be over-indulgent.
Plants with colour and form are key ingredients
in a bright, uplifting winter garden
The lyrics to “In the bleak midwinter” don’t offer the best encouragement for getting out in the garden. But with a few thoughtful planting choices you can be “Walking in a winter wonderland!”
The low golden sun shining and sparkling on frosty branches and foliage is a wonder of the season, and is something to be truly celebrated.
Although you may not want to be out in the garden that much in the depths of winter, it is still important to provide yourself with enticing views from the house.
Most important are front gardens and pathways to your doors. These are places that – in rain, sleet and snow – you’ll be passing through on a daily basis.
And it’s where you welcome your visitors. These are places you want to feel proud of, and to get great enjoyment from, in all seasons.
Clean up those secateurs for a decent
bit of winter pruning
To non gardeners it may not be obvious, but autumn can be one of the busiest times of year in the garden, and pruning is one of the most important tasks of the season.
There are many trees and shrubs that need pruning or renovating in their dormant period if they are to avoid stress and recover before growth begins again in spring.
Left unpruned, deciduous trees and shrubs can become leggy and unattractive, with soft and top fruit becoming unproductive and susceptible to disease.
When carrying out your pruning it is really important to use clean sharp tools that will not leave any jagged edges that could prove an easy entry for infection.
Country hedges have been full of fruit this year,
but where are the berries in our cities?
London-based urban gardener, Dan Combes, wonders why there aren’t more berries in city centres…
Towns and cities of Britain, why aren’t we cultivating more soft fruits?
Over the last the two weeks I have planted thousands of bulbs. But why (London, I’m talking to you especially) am I not planting soft fruits? It is the perfect time to put in berries and currants.
As I write our native flora is abound with fruit. I have never seen our hedgerows so stocked. Clusters of red fruits weigh down hawthorn branches. Rose hips wreath their way through the arms of blackthorn, with their sloes ready to bring the best out of gin.
Gorgeous bark is an autumn treat
As the stormy autumn winds blow it can be a bleak time of year in the garden, with the last of the leaves being stripped from the trees leaving them exposed and bare.
In fact it is a magical unveiling, as the architectural form of a tree or shrub is revealed, and with a little planning and careful selection this seasonal transformation can be celebrated.
There are many species with beautifully coloured and characterful bark that will lift the garden in winter and create a stunning seasonal spectacle.
And with the low winter sunlight the bold structural forms of colourful branches can shine as brightly as any summer flower border.