HOW TO ENJOY YOUR WINTER GARDEN – Why put your garden into hibernation for the winter? If you’ve put a lot of effort into making your outdoor space look good, you shouldn’t abandon it just because the temperature’s dropping. There are still flowers to plant and good times to be had so as long as you’ve got your coat on, your garden can continue to thrive throughout the cold months.
Plants & Flowers
Winter isn’t exactly the best time of year to be a plant, but there’s a huge range of beautiful flowers out there that are resilient enough to withstand even the most extended of visits from Jack Frost. Inspiration is just a Google search away; just type in something to the effect of ‘winter flowering plants’, and you’ll be rewarded with a plethora of plants that can keep your garden beautiful throughout autumn and winter. Pansies, primroses and polyanthus can all stand up to chilly winter weather, and the helleborus niger is commonly nicknamed the ‘Christmas rose’ because of its tendency to flower in the middle of December.
British winters tend to be far milder than the winters they have in the States, so don’t worry too much if you stumble onto an American website and they’re talking about hardiness zones and that kind of thing. The scale runs from 0 to 12 (0 being the coldest, denoting temperatures of minus 54°C and below), and most of the UK is a zone 8, so unless we have an unusually severe winter, your plants should be fine in beds, pots and baskets alike.
And even if you’re not the green-fingered one in your household, your garden can still be a fun place to spend those cold winter nights. Yes, it’s dark and chilly, but a few bits of essential winter kit can turn your frosty back yard into a wonderful winter paradise. There are all kinds of illuminating garden products available nowadays, from lamps to lanterns to wall lights, although if you really want to create a bit of ambiance out the back, you might prefer the toasty real flames of a garden oil torch. Either way, there’s no reason for you to be standing around in the dark!
But what does one do in a winter garden once it’s lit up? It’s nice to just have a little sit down and take in the natural beauty of your back garden, but if you want to get a bit more active, why not have a barbecue? People tend to think of a barbecue as being an exclusively summertime activity, but it’s just as much fun to get some friends over, wrap up warm in your scarves and coats, and have a few home-cooked winter warmers – burgers and hot dogs taste even better when it’s cold outside.
There’s plenty of fun to be had in your garden this winter, so don’t forget to go outside once in a while and get a breath of fresh air. It’s probably worth buying a nice warm coat first, mind.