Too often, people see their gardens as no-go zones during the colder months. The fact is, with some careful planning and design, it’s easy to create an outdoor space that looks great all year round. Here are some top tips to help you make the most of your garden during the chilly season.
Choose your plants wisely
There’s no denying the fact that if you want to witness an explosion of life and colour in your outside space, you’ll have to wait until the spring and summer. However, by being savvy in your selection of plants, you can ensure that there are plenty of things to keep your garden interesting even in the depths of winter.
For example, there is an array of attractive shrubs to choose from. Abeliophyllum distichum, better known as white forsythia, produces fragrant, pretty flowers in February, while daphne mezereum bursts into life with a display of purple-red flowers between February and April. Another great option is bergenia. Also known as ‘elephant’s ears’ because of the size and shape of its leaves, it produces intricate pink or white flowers from January to April. However, before you go ahead and select your new garden shrubs, make sure you research their care instructions. Some will be better suited than others to the conditions in your garden.
Protect tender greens from frost
It’s also worth keeping some of your most vulnerable plants, such as tender herbs, in pots rather than in the ground so that you can move them under cover closer to your home when temperatures plummet. This can be especially important with the likes of thyme, bay and French lavender. If you can’t move these plants, try covering them when frost or snow is likely to strike. Anything will work, old blankets, burlap sacks or tarp. Use supports like wires of stakes to keep the cover off the leaves and branches, and make sure to remove the cover during the day so your plants get light and air.
There are also a host of extra features that can help you to ensure your garden looks and feels good whatever the weather. For example, garden sheds can prove useful when it comes to storing tools, furniture and any other items you want to keep safe.
Meanwhile, so that you can enjoy being in your outside area even when it’s cold and wet, it’s a good idea to create a decked area or patio complete with a cover. For a flexible solution, you could opt for a retractable awning. Outdoor lighting features, such as solar spike lights and recessed decking lights, are worth considering too. They can transform the appearance of yourgarden when the sun goes down.
By bearing simple but effective tips like these in mind when you’re designing your outside space, you will maximise the benefits of having a garden throughout the year.
Image by Nosha used under the Creative Commons license.