Winter is on it’s way – tips for the garden

Leaves are falling rapidly, and wind and rain are on the increase. Tender plants will need protecting from frost, gales and freezing rains. Move plants into the greenhouse, or into a sheltered spot, but if you can’t, it is worth wrapping plants or pots in situ. Remember winter can be a tough time for birds in terms of water and food, so keep supplies well topped up.

Surveys have shown that most gardeners think spring is the best time to plant a garden – but nothing could be further from the truth. The weather in spring is changeable and often very cold; and after a hard winter the soil is often waterlogged, wind-scoured and depleted.

In autumn and early winter, by contrast, there’s still the sun’s warmth in the ground,  rain has brought just the right amount of moisture, and plants have a much better chance of establishing a good root system. That means your plants grow stronger and healthier, getting them off to a really good start next spring.

Among the trees, shrubs, perennials and of course bulbs you can be planting now for colour next year are:

  • Trees for year-round colour including Amelanchier lamarckii and Acer griseum
  • Fruit trees including apples, pears, plums and cherries
  • Shrubs such as Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ and Itea ilicifolia, with gorgeous long spring catkins
  • Climbing, rambling and shrub roses
  • Raspberries, strawberries and blackcurrants
  • Daffodils, tulips and crocuses