Create a winter wonderland


Winter pruning

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.
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Get planting for National Tree Week 2013!


National Tree Week

National Tree Week 2013 runs from 23 November
through to 1 December… get involved!

National Tree Week is the UK’s largest celebration of trees, and is organised by The Tree Council.

Running from 23 November to 1 December it heralds the start of the British tree planting season.

This countrywide event is a chance for people of all ages to get involved in all manner of fun tree-related events.

In addition to The Tree Council, events are being organised by local authorities, community groups, schools and tree wardens – so there’s likely to be something happening near you.

The main purpose of this week is to raise awareness of the importance of trees and to inspire hundreds of thousands of people all over the country to plant around a million trees in their local communities.
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Autumn colour: Beautiful bark


Paperbark Cherry

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.
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Trees for a native autumn harvest


Autumn larder

A native autumn harvest – an extra special
treat when it’s from your own trees

As the leaves start to colour and fall from the trees and the cooling air is heavy with the smell of wood smoke there is nothing more gratifying than getting wrapped up and going out to gather the season’s harvests.

Autumn is a most plentiful time of year. Along the hedgerows and verges plump ripe fruits hang from wayward trees and nuts crunch underfoot.

And it’s possible to create that natural bounty in your own garden, giving you the benefit of having wonderful ingredients for all manner of culinary delights right on your doorstep – and it’s fantastic for wildlife too!

With a little preparation this stockpile of preserved fruits and nuts will provide throughout the winter when little else is growing in the garden.
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Autumn blaze part one: Trees


Japanese Maple

Trees like the ‘Japanese Maple Acer palmatum’
bring warmth and colour to autumn

After a fine summer of hot sunny days and balmy nights it is that time of year again that seems to come around so suddenly.

As the nights draw in it is easy to become downhearted at the thought of the winter to come. But as the weather cools a miraculous transformation is beginning. Deciduous trees and shrubs are slowly making their preparations for dormancy by stopping the flow of fluids in to their leaves.

This means that the green chlorophyll that usually masks out any other pigments present is diminished. The result is the phenomenon known as autumn colour.

A brisk walk on a chilly sunny day as the sun shines low in the sky while the countryside around you blazes with golds and reds is a breathtaking experience, and completely lifts any gloom at the passing summer.

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