People automatically think that just because winter is about to set in, that they can just let the season pass without giving their garden a second thought. Wrong, there's a lot to do over the winter months if you're a truly dedicated green thumb and take pride in your garden looking the best it can all year round.
The first thing you must realise is that just because the frost and cold weather are taking an effect on the garden, there's still a vast amount of seedlings, buds and other things hidden away waiting for the warmer months to return. Due to this lack of visual display from the garden, people take this at face value and think "there's nothing to do"; well, here's some things to keep you occupied this winter:
You have 3 months, maybe even more based on the UK weather trends over the last few years; this gives you a lot of time to put some serious thought into your garden for the upcoming year. Due to the winter weather stripping your garden back to its rawest state, you essentially have a 'cleansed pallet' to work from. You won't be influenced by any of last year's garden design and you can really appreciate your garden in its most basic form - it's the perfect time to rethink the layout - so get your pen and paper out.
First things first, you want to set out the framework of the garden; you can't jump in headfirst without having some sort of outline or structure, otherwise you'll just be making it harder on yourself. This 'skeleton' should incorporate all the different areas of the garden, house boundaries, the patio, pathways, lawn edges and so on. Remember to take into account any extras; this includes thing such as trees, hedges and other structural elements as well as pergolas, sheds and other types of frames.
Don't forget that outdoors is all about scaling and dramatic sizes when compared to the indoors. For example if you have steps leading down to your garden, don't go for steps the same size as your staircase indoors; make them prominent and meaningful, wider and deeper. This is the same for everything in the garden, entrance points should be larger than the equivalent doorway inside the house - it's all about up-scaling.
Tip: Don't go over the top trying to make structural elements fancy. Winding pathways and complicated lawn edging isn't needed; keep things simple, strong and bold - the foliage will soften the overall look of the garden, don't worry.
Research, Research, Research
If you don't plan on making any big changes to the design of your garden (or if you've already done it), then there's still some things you can do.
Winter is the ideal time to get your knowledge hat on and read up on some of the latest plant/gardening magazines and catalogues for a bit of inspiration ready for spring. Read through everything, there are always some small tips or pieces of wisdom you can pick up from them. On top of that the catalogues should offer you a look into a variety of plant and colour arrangements that you can tweak to suit your garden.
Tip: Although you might see a nice looking combination which you'd like to employ in your garden; try and add your own little mark to things (such as garden furniture ) as it will feel considerably more rewarding when finished.
Getting ready for winter is almost as crucial as planting in the springtime. Browse an extensive selection of gardening tools and equipment.