When it comes to our gardens, we tend to focus on making them look good in the warmer months of the year. After all, this is when we use our gardens the most, whether that’s to entertain, relax, or play with the kids.
The problem with this approach to gardens and plants is that by the time winter arrives, your outdoor space could well be looking pretty bare and miserable. Lots of plants die back during the colder months, which can leave you with gaps in borders and a distinct lack of colour and interest.
So what can you do to make your garden look good in winter?
Easy ways to perk up your winter garden
With winter gardens, the best approach is to plan ahead. This involves making sure you have plants in your garden that provide flowers, colourful stems or structure in winter. Building up a garden for year-round interest is however a long-term strategy, and you might be keen to make things look good right now!
If you need some quick fixes to get your garden looking great this winter, here are some easy ideas to try.
Introduce some outdoor lighting
As the days get shorter, it becomes more important to make sure your outdoor space is well-lit. Even if you don’t plan on sitting outside, hanging beautiful lights can make your garden lovely to look at from the warmth of your living room. Check out these LED festoon bulbs for high quality hanging lights that will turn your backyard into a winter wonderland.
A lot of your plants may be looking a little miserable during winter. Add in the lack of flowers and foliage, and the garden can start to feel sparse and disconnected. You can make things look neater by keeping hedges trimmed, staying on top of weeds, and clearing away fallen leaves regularly.
Lay a path
You’ve probably got a main route through your garden – to the shed, for example. If this route involves walking on grass, things can get messy in winter when the ground is wet. If you don’t already have one, now’s a good time to lay a path to protect your lawn, keep things looking neat, and limit the amount of mud that’s trampled into the house.
Without the brightly coloured flowers that flourish in spring and summer, your garden might be a little drab. A simple way to perk things up without spending a fortune is to add in some winter bedding plants. These work particularly well as winter plants for pots, or plants for winter hanging baskets; make sure you position them where you can see them from indoors for maximum enjoyment. For longer-term winter interest, add perennial winter flowering plants such as hellebores, snowdrops and cyclamen to your hanging flower baskets and pots.
Another clever trick to add colour to the garden in winter is to introduce plant pots or garden furniture in bright colours.
Consider adding shrubs
Shrubs can add greenery to your garden, but they can also bring a splash of colour. For example, Cornus Sanguinea “Midwinter Fire” is a gorgeous, red-stemmed shrub that will brighten up your garden even in the coldest months. Other popular options for shrubbery include Witch Hazel with its bright yellow, orange or pink flowers, and Daphnes with their evergreen leaves and blooms in shades of pink.
Watch the weather
Rain and frost can make garden paths treacherous, and cause algae to grow on decks, patios and furniture. Make sure you keep walkways clear of snow; you may need to use sand or grit to provide more grip. Stay on top of algae to keep your patio looking smart, and prevent things getting slippy underfoot there too.
If possible, bring furniture indoors during winter to minimise weather damage and dirt buildup. If you don’t have the space to do this, cover your furniture with tarpaulin or garden furniture covers, and check it regularly to make sure everything is still secure.
Hopefully these ideas for making your garden look good in winter have given you lots of inspiration, and help you to enjoy your outdoor space all year round. What’s your number one tip for a beautiful winter garden?