Putting the Garden to bed

Just imagine waking up feeling worse for wear after a big night out & finding every cup, plate & surface is dirty from the night before. You probably would return to bed and hide rather than reaching for the sun. Gardens are no different in this winter period. The start of a new year inevitably brings with it an onslaught of advice about better health style habits. Cleansing ourselves from the excesses of Christmas. Who hasn’t tried dry January or started an exercise class or promised to go to bed earlier and leave the laptop downstairs with the aim of becoming a slimmer fitter you, energised to make the most of the day once we’ve emerged from the long dark winter. Your garden needs the same attention.

You can start by clearing up debris mouldy leaves to reduce the risk of disease. Bacteria is good for the soil but obviously you don’t want too much. Remove perennial weeds to reduce weed growth. Let the frost/thaw cycle break the soil down in readiness for spring and feed the soil by top dressing with manure. 

Just as you might wrap yourself up in the winter, wrap up tender plants like ferns, mediterranean and tropical plants in fleece to limit frost damage

Winter reveals the structure of your garden and can be a time to review the space. A previous blog of mine explores some of the issues you may want to consider if you’re thinking about a re design of the space. It can be exciting to start making plans to bring to fruition projects that you have been mulling over during the long dark winter months. I often see this process like composting. 

Now is the time to proactively get your garden ready for bed. Whilst it’s clean and resting in its pyjamas, you know it’s going to go hell for leather in getting spring ready and not hiding away in its own dirt because it feels too much like hard work to get growing again. I’ve probably stretched the bed time metaphor a bit too far but if you put your garden to bed in a healthy state, you will be rewarded with all the beauty that spring has to offer


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