A well-designed garden can easily become an extension of your home – a place where you can relax with your friends and family and enjoy the changing seasons.
Your garden should be beautiful all year around, not just when the sun is shining, but even the lowest-maintenance gardens need a little TLC every now and then. In winter, the harsh weather can take it’s toll but maintaining that just-finished look needn’t be hard work or time-consuming.
We’re known creating beautiful yet practical gardens, whether you’re an avid gardener or want a care-free and easy maintenance space for your family to spend time in. Before you pick up the phone and book your free garden design consultation, here are 5 easy ways to make sure your garden is prepared for the winter and ready for spring.
1. Simple lawn care
Winter is always a quiet time for lawn care but there’s plenty that you can do to ensure it’s looking green and fresh come spring.
British winters often bring alternating warm and cold blasts, which can promote irregular and premature lawn growth. If you feel your lawn needs mowing, make sure the ground is dry and only take off the bare minimum. Winter is also a great time to get your mower serviced, ready for the spring when you’ll be using it more often.
Keep your lawn free of debris and anything that might compact the blades of grass such as garden furniture or children’s play equipment. It’s important to let as much sunlight as possible reach your lawn to help evaporate excess water and stimulate growth.
Newly-laid lawns are particularly susceptible to frost and newly-laid turf is prone to lifting. If this happens, you’ll need a heavy roller to re-compress it when the ground dries out.
An increasingly-popular alternative to a turfed lawn is artificial turf because of its ability to keep its good looks all year round and low maintenance requirements. Just be sure not to use salt to melt ice as this could block drainage channels.
2. Planting and pruning
Whilst a lot of winter work is about protecting your garden for the coming year, it’s the perfect time to prune and shape deciduous plants. Branches should be cult on a mild and dry day at the node (the point where one section joins to another).
Frost is not your friend when it comes to your plants. Some perennials will benefit from a blanket of mulch or organic debris to add a little insulation and protect against frost. Other plants are so delicate that they will need to be lifted and stored somewhere protective such as a greenhouse.
If you desire a low-maintenance garden, it’s essential to work your planting choices into your garden design.
A strategic planting scheme means your garden will be full of colour all year round. You’ll need to choose a plants that are hardy enough to survive cold winters as well as warm summers.
Winter brings increased rainfall which risks flooding borders and flowerbeds. You can dig organic matter and grit into the soil to stop it from clumping and improve drainage, plus well-drained soil warms up faster in spring so your plants will be blooming again before you know it.
Nutrients will be washed out of the soil in winter which need to be replenished when the ground isn’t frozen, but be sure not to use fertilizer too soon so that your plants know when the season is coming to an end.
3. Driveways and paving
We’ve all done the slip-and-slide down the driveway to the car on an icy morning. If you need to clear snow from driveways or paving, we recommend that you use a plastic shovel instead of metal to avoid scratching stone surfaces. While de-icer and salt can work wonders, we don’t recommend that you use them if your driveway isn’t sealed. Not only do you risk surface damage, they could contaminate surface water and harm surrounding planting.
One of many homeowners biggest fears is the winter weather causing damage that’s not visible until it’s too late. The best way to ensure your paving and patio survives the winter is to ensure that it is installed correctly.
Leicestershire Garden Design Co. is a fully registered and certified member of the Marshalls Register of Approved Landscape Contractors and Driveway Installers, meaning that we only install materials with supplier recommended methods.
Winter is a great time to see how well the natural drainage in your garden works. Pooling on lawns can mean that the ground is compacted and indicates your lawn will need aerating in spring.
Excessive surface water on your paving that takes a while to drain is also a key indicator. Try to ensure that drainage channels throughout your garden are free of debris to allow water to clear as quickly as possible.
With the risk of freezing, you want your drainage system to be as efficient as possible. It’s important that drainage is included in any garden design as without sufficient drainage in place, you could be faced with endless and costly problems, so be sure to use a certified installer.
5. Planning and designing
Whilst you have to be brave to face the cold winter weather, the best way to ensure your garden is ready for spring is with clever planning and design so you’ll have more time to enjoy your relax in your garden with with friends and family in the warmer months instead of worrying about discoloured lawns and water damage.
Protecting your lawn in winter will mean it will be green and fresh again before you know it. Carefully planning your plantingscheme will
add colour and scent the whole year through and bring your garden to life, even in the coldest months.
Ensuring your paving is correctly installed by certified installers and strategically planning your drainage channels will mean they’ll be no unexpected problems come the spring, saving you both time and money in repairs.
Bringing all the elements of a garden together can be daunting. There’s a lot to consider to create your dream garden and mistakes can be costly, but that’s where we can help. Our leading garden designers and landscapers cover Leicestershire and the surrounding counties. We’re there to guide you through the entire process, from concept to design and construction.
To relax in the garden of your dreams takes a lot of hard work. Let us do the hard work. You just relax.
Simply call Leicestershire Garden Design today for your free consultation on 0116 210 0760 – See what we can do for you.