While you may think that there’s nothing to do in the garden in winter, there are quite a few things you can do now so that it looks gorgeous in spring
Similar to this: Growing winter veggies
1. IMPROVE THE SOIL
This is a good time to improve the soil for planting. Start by digging in organic matter like compost, bone meal and hoof and horn into the top 20 – 30cm. This increases water retention, introduces beneficial bacteria and provides nutrients.
2. ADD HEIGHT TO FLAT BEDS
While beds are relatively empty, it’s easy to assess them and see which ones could do with a bit more structure. Obelisks and tripods are an excellent way to make beds look more interesting and give them some height. Either place them in the centre of a square bed or in a row along the length of a border. Make sure that they look in proportion and are not too close together. If decorative, like those in wrought iron, you can leave them bare. But if they’re plain timber tripods, train climbing roses or a flowering creeper over them to add colour.
3. PLANT ORNAMENTAL GRASSES
If you want to give your garden a more contemporary look introduce ornamental grasses. These are very fashionable at the moment and their texture and form make an interesting contrast to the more regular shape of shrubs and perennials. Use them in drifts rather than dotting them about, and look for ones that have attractive seed heads in autumn and winter. Landscaping by The Friendly Plant.
4. STRAIGHTEN BEDS
Another way to update your garden is to square off all those curvy beds. Straight lines look much more up to date and will make edges easier to maintain and mow. An added advantage is that the garden looks neater and more tranquil. Garden design by Foxgloves Landscape Design.
5. EDGE THE BEDS
Then finish off those straightened beds with permanent edging. There’s quite a selection to choose from– bricks, concrete, cobbles, terracotta and timber. Choose one that suits the style of your garden. Thin metal edging works extremely well in modern gardens where you want a very clean, minimalist look. Edging also makes the lawn look neat and saves you having to slice off grass runners that constantly invade flower beds.
6. SORT OUT SHADY AREAS
There are a number of ways to improve shady areas under trees where nothing will grow. However, to maintain the health of the trees, make sure that the surface you use is permeable so rainwater can soak through. In this Jo’burg garden, Create a Landscape planted mondo grass between large pavers and placed pebbles around the water feature to create a permeable surface.
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