Winter Garden Ideas
As the cold winds blow in and the temperature starts to drop, it’s time to think about some winter garden ideas that can keep your garden in tip top condition throughout the season. Just because it’s the traditional end of the growing season doesn’t mean that there aren’t tasks still to complete. At the same time, it’s also good to remember that the Winter can be as enjoyable as the rest of the year as long as you’re wrapped up warm.
Let’s get the work tasks out the way to prepare for the season. These Winter garden ideas are focused on tidying up and preparing parts of the garden for the colder months.
Put away or cover furniture
Damp weather can wreak all kinds of havoc on your outdoor furniture if not protected. If you have freestanding furniture, then it’s time to place it indoors such as a shed or garage. Give the furniture a good clean before storage so it will be ready to go when it comes to Spring. If you have any soft coverings, ensure these are cleaned thoroughly too, and ideally these would be stored somewhere in the home to avoid damp and mould. If you don’t have space to put your furniture inside or it’s not freestanding you should cover them. Clean as before and use a plastic cover or tarpaulin to protect them against the elements. Ideally, you should select furniture that can stand up against the harshest of weather. Select either metal furniture or wooden furniture that has some protective characteristics. Our modular furniture kits have a 15 year guarantee against rot making them ideal for the outdoors.
Rake the leaves
A bit like endless loads of laundry, you’ll likely have to do this task frequently throughout the first few months of Winter, that’s if you haven’t been doing it in Autumn. Raking up leaves will make your garden look a lot neater and more inviting than if they are left. With the garden looking a bit bare, any additional mess will draw the eye. Add the leaves to your compost, mixing in with green waste, or create a leaf pile which can be used as leaf mulch in years to come.
It’s cold out there, so make sure you keep things warm. This applies to you as well as elements in the garden. Here’s a few things you should add a bit of protection to for when it drops below zero:
- The compost bin - To keep the bacteria and bugs active to break down your compost, keep it warm. If it’s a bin or tub, you can wrap it in bubble wrap. If it’s a wooden or piled structure, you can use an old carpet to keep the warmth in. It’s also a good idea to cover the top as excessive water can stop the composting process.
- Plant protection - If there are plants you can’t move inside or you think are just about hardy enough to make it outside, add a little bit of extra protection to their roots. You can use a mulch or organic material like wool fleece to add some warmth to their roots.
- Yourself - You will be able to get a lot more done in the garden if you are wrapped up warm. Layer up, hat and gloves as well, and you will feel so much more active.
Garden tools & BBQ clean
Winter garden prep is a good time to clean your tools and BBQ and put them away safe. Make sure to give them a thorough deep clean, dry them down and if necessary oil them. You should store tools and BBQ elements in the shed or garage. A little bit of care at the end of the season will help them last for years to come.
Winter Plant Care
Winter may be a bit barren but you can still care for your plant collection.
Plant for spring
Get yourself through the Winter sparseness by dreaming of the colours of Spring. You can plant the majority of your spring bulbs in Winter and these will blossom without much care from March onwards. Make sure to plan out where bulbs will go so as not to crowd an area too much.
Bring in plants
If there are some plants that simply will not survive the outdoors, it’s time to bring them in. Some may survive with just the cover of a greenhouse while others will need to come into the home. You will not have to water them as much unless you put them too near a radiator or fire. You should ensure that they get as much light as possible. Remember that many perennials will drop their leaves during this time so don’t worry if they are looking a bit battered come March time. It’s all about protecting and preserving their roots.
Trim Fruit Trees
A little bit of light pruning can go a long way with established fruit plants and bushes. Pruning can encourage stronger growth the following year and can make the plant more productive. The Royal Horticultural Society has a guide on how to prune fruit trees.
Winter Garden Ideas to Enjoy the Outdoors
For some people, spending a moment outdoors during Winter is just too much but for those of us who love our gardens we can still enjoy the colder months with these garden ideas.
Essential if you want to still utilise your seating area, outdoor heating can make life outside so much more bearable. Outdoor heating comes in a variety of styles and designs. From electric ranges to wood burners, there are countless options with outdoor heating. Ideally, you will have a covered area in your garden for you to retreat to. Awnings and canopies can be used to keep you covered but make sure they are suitable for Winter weather. We have some more ideas on keeping warm in our article, “How to enjoy your garden in the rain”.
Look after wildlife
One of the most enjoyable Winter garden ideas is to care for your furry friends and spot them throughout the garden. Some varieties of birds, insects, amphibians and small mammals are still about in the British urban garden between December and February. Here are a few tips:
- Add nesting boxes to your garden in a quiet spot to provide Winter nesting for birds and bats
- Adding mulch to your plants not only keeps them warm, but also provides birds and amphibians with a foraging paradise.
- Don’t tidy the garden too much, bugs can stay protected over Winter in dead plant stems and rotting wood. Mammals and amphibians can stay protected under a pile of logs or stones.
You can find more information and tips on the Discover Wildlife website.
Take some photos
Winter is full of life if you know where to look, so taking photography of the plants and animals you spot is a great Winter garden idea. You can get children involved by creating a list of things they need to take a photo of. If your garden isn’t very big, you can also head to the local park for this challenge.
More Winter Garden Ideas
We hope you enjoy these Winter garden ideas and feel you have plenty to do in these cooler months. If you’d like more gardening ideas, check out our Contemporary Garden blog for more inspiration. We answer commonly asked questions, show you the latest contemporary garden design ideas and help you discover your garden. If you’d like any help, please get in touch. Our team is always happy to help.