Look ahead to spring in your garden this winter
During November frost, wind and rain are really common, and the icy weather can unfortunately put paid to your hard work in the garden the rest of the year round. The wintry months are a good time to look ahead to your garden over the next year, planning plantings and placements, and also to welcome wildlife into your plot as birds, bugs and small animals struggle to find food. Getting these jobs ticked off your list in November is a great opportunity to enjoy some crisp winter sunshine (we hope) whilst making sure your garden is in the best shape for the bounty of spring.
Elevate your containers
In the wet, cold months, it’s easy for planting containers to become waterlogged, which is very bad for the plants inside. Prevent this by raising your pots up with pot feet, which can be picked up really reasonably at most garden centres or online. You may also want to protect your containers from cracking in frost by insulating them – bubble wrap works well!
Pruning and planting for winter
Now is a great time to plant some attractive evergreen plants and trees to bring some structure and colour to your winter garden – read my article on plants for winter interest here.
Prune any deciduous shrubs and trees to provide for the best growth come the spring. If you’re lucky enough to have pear and apple trees, now’s the time to prune them too – but don’t prune your plum trees just yet, as they’ll be susceptible to silver leaf fungus.
Plant for a spring display
One of the biggest joys of spring is the brand new shoots and flowers that start to appear around March time – so don’t miss your chance! This month, plant spring-flowering bulbs like tulips, hyacinths and daffodils for some vivid colours once the weather starts warming up again. A beautiful magnolia tree is a stunning addition to any springtime garden too, and now’s the perfect time to plant one if you fancy.
Provide for local wildlife
Now that the ground is rock hard and many plants and blooms have lost their flowers and berries, wildlife has a hard time finding the fuel to get through the winter – but you can help! Fill up your bird feeders, provide shelters in shrubs and bushes, and even lay out extra food if you’re so inclined for hedgehogs and other garden animals.
Build a bonfire
One of the joys of winter is warming ourselves around a crackling bonfire with friends or family, so use all that garden waste you’ll have amassed to build a fire. Just remember to check thoroughly for wildlife taking refuge inside the pile before you light: hedgehogs, mice, rabbits and other critters are drawn towards piles like this for protection.
Plan next year’s garden
This is a task that’s best carried out in your favourite chair accompanied with a hot cup of tea and a piece of cake! Cast your mind back over the year in your garden and ask yourself what worked and what didn’t; what thrived and what failed, and use this to create a rough calendar for the year ahead. Will you do anything differently next year? Gardening is a learning curve, so don’t be afraid to try new things if your tactics haven’t brought any joy.