Winter can seem a dull, dark and depressing time, particularly if you enjoy being outside, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Here are some ways to make the most of your garden during the winter months.
Feed The Birds
Providing birds with food and fresh water brings your garden alive. It’s no secret that winter can be harsh. We don’t feel it so much tucked up in our centrally heated houses, but for wildlife, when the ground is frozen and the trees are bare, your bird-table can mean the difference between life and death.
Put out a variety of seeds, fat-balls and fruit to attract birds. Sprinkle a few bits on the grass, or use an uncovered bird table. Seed-eating birds will visit a hanging feeder during daylight hours, but make sure you fill it up regularly because they’ll be waiting!
Break any ice on your birdbath and place a tennis ball in your pond as this stops ice from forming.
If you want to encourage even more birdlife put up some bird-boxes or nesting pouches. These are often used for overnight shelter and in the spring you’ll be treated to a variety of baby birds.
If all this talk of gardening has made you tired, think about lighting instead because good outdoor lighting makes a winter garden usable. Dark winter evenings prevent us getting much needed fresh air after work, but with outside lights you can extend your garden hours.
Create some beautiful lighting using the Artemide range in the room closest to your garden area too, so you continue a warmly lit theme to your outside space. Once that’s done add a gazebo and a patio heater to create an extra ‘outside’ room for your home.
If it’s not raining you can enjoy your garden outside – why not have a winter’s day party? Socialising is not just a summer pursuit! Barbequing on a frosty day is amazing if you wrap up warmly. Weave some fairy lights through your bushes, trees or even around your birdhouse for a twinkling evening.
Spring and summer flowers are a distant memory in the winter – but they’ll be back. What you can do now is fill the space with winter plants. Here are some suggestions!
- Dogwood (from Cornus family) has bright red or yellow stems that provide winter colour such as midwinter fire.
- Evergreens like holly and ivy provide touchable texture as well as shelter for birds and wildlife.
- Helleborus niger, the Christmas rose, has beautiful white winter flowers
- Brightly shaded ornamental cabbages make a great talking point
- Acers and maples turn a rich ruby red in the winter
- Berry producing plants, such as pyracantha, provide food for birds and brighten the garden.
- Bulbs poke up bright green spikes that blossom into hardy snowdrops, bluebells daffodils and irises.
- Winter is a great time to select and plant rose bushes too.
If you’ve always wanted to grow your own fruit and veggies, winter is a great time to dig a vegetable patch because the frosts kill bacteria.
There’s no escaping the hard work though. Double-dig the soil (that’s two downward lengths of the spade), clear out stones and add some fertiliser or piles of fallen leaves. Then, come springtime, you’ll be growing your own tomatoes, carrots and cabbages.
A lot of us don’t enjoy winter, but when you take the time to look its actually quite beautiful. Seasonal changes are a part of life many don’t appreciate, but it holds a magic of its own.
There’s not much you can do about the rain, but sunny, frosty days can brighten your outlook as well as chase away Seasonal Affective Disorder. Your winter plants will thrive with some care and outside lighting from Lampcommerce means you can enjoy your garden all year round.