How to keep a winter garden: the essential tools, and when to plant
Keeping your garden in good shape in winter isn't as arduous as you may first fear. With a few handy tools and guidelines on what to plant, you can get your winter garden blooming. Best of all you'll benefit from lashings of fresh air and crunch a few calories as you go.
Here are the best tools for essential winter garden maintenance, to help make your garden gorgeous, and streak ahead of the game come spring.
Winter flowers: Christmas Clematis
If you want to add a little visual interest to a quiet garden in winter, the aptly named Christmas Clematis will bring cheer. It's a winter-flowering clematis that produces creamy, bell-shaped flowers.
It's foliage is richly green, and this deciduous number is hardy enough to withstand winter frosts (provided your garden is sheltered).
Best of all those gorgeous garlands flower from December to February - just the spot of colour a winter garden needs.
9cm pot, £14.99 Buy here
Keep your grass in good nick
Miracle-gro evergreen premium plus autumn and spring lawn food
Since grass is arguably the largest swathe of evergreen planting in most gardens, it’s surprising to find lawns are often the most neglected garden feature over winter.
All through the coldest months, roots continue to grow so a good winter feed will strengthen the roots, help combat disease and frosts, resulting in a strong green sward come spring.
Miracle-gro evergreen premium plus autumn and spring lawn food is easy to use, and fast acting. It kills moss within seven days and will sustain your lawn throughout the winter months. Always water it off after application or apply before rain is expected.
2kg, £11.99 Buy here
Keep your hedges trimmed
GTech Cordless Hedge Trimmer HT 3.0
There’s nothing worse than being woken up on a lazy Sunday morning by the din of the neighbours’ power tools, so a quiet hedge trimmer has got to be the way to go. Using power tools can burn up to 409 calories an hour, so time to break out the GTech Cordless Hedge Trimmer 3.0.
This lightweight tool is offers precise trimming. The lithium battery allows 60 minutes of cordless use, and it reaches up to 10 feet. It makes quick, quiet work of deciduous and evergreen hedges without waking the neighbourhood. FYI, if you keep your Beech hedge under 6ft, it is more likely to retain its foliage throughout winter.
2.47kg, 18V, 10ft reach, 60 minute charge. £199.99. Buy here
Keep your pots scrubbed
Winter’s an ideal time to give your pots a good scrub with a stiff brush in warm soapy water ready for use next year. Ditto, decking, greenhouses, sheds, paths, porches and patios can all benefit from a scrub-down.
So many gardeners lack sturdy brooms or brushes; make yours royally productive with Hillbrush. It’s a gem of an emporium awarded a Royal Warrant and offers such a extensive array of British made brushes.
Hillbrush’s reasonably priced Garden Range includes all the essential brushes you could ever need, great for de-cobwebbing, sweeping, cleaning pots, wellies and BBQ’s plus a dozen other uses.
Hillbrush offer three garden sets, we plumped for their Garden Range 2 that includes:
Industrial stiff yard broom 305mm
Finest stiff Deck Scrub 237mm
Industrial Heavy-Duty Wire Scratch Brush 290mm
Finest Stiff Scrubbing Brush 219mm
£20.00 Buy here
Clear your leaves and make your own mulch
Garden Gear 3500W 3-in-1 Blower, Vacuum and Shredder
Fallen leaves make great garden mulch. Recycling garden waste is good for the garden, eco-friendly and it’s free. Leaf mulch contains vital trace elements that encourage earthworms, beneficial bacteria and microbes in the soil. Simply use a handy leaf blower and pack them in bin liners or heavy-duty paper sacks.
Leaves can take time to rot down, so if you can pass them through a leaf shredder first, they will rot down more quickly. Leaf mulch is brilliant for insulating plants through winter, bulks up light sandy soils or lightens heavy clay soils when applied in spring.
The Garden Gear 3-in-1 Blower, Vacuum and Shredder takes the hard work out of leaf collection, it blows, vacuums and shreds. With a 45-litre collection bag, 3500-watt motor, comfy shoulder strap and generous 10m cable, making your own leaf mould has never been so easy.
3.7kg, 45litre, 3500kW power, £44.99. Buy here
Enjoy your winter wonderland with a patio heater
GTech HeatWave Patio Heater
Once you've spent the time making your winter garden look good, you'll want to enjoy it.
The Gtech HeatWave electric patio heater provides up to 6 metres of heat within minutes of switching it on. It's low-glare and energy efficient - using Infrared technology, which uses a lower wattage than other heating solutions.
If you want to enjoy a winter fete this year with a few friends, this will keep you all toasty.
2kW power, 6m reach, wall mounted. £149. Buy here
Looking ahead: time to plant some tulips
Thomson and Morgan tulips
Even in the depths of winter you can still indulge your flower fantasies by ordering and planting tulip bulbs.
There are some spectacular varieties about and although November is the traditional planting time, you can plant up until Christmas Eve, (as long as the ground isn’t waterlogged or frozen,) and blooms still look fabulous at flowering time. It’s a great way to destress after all your festive preparations and introduce a new yuletide tradition.
Bulldog’s sturdy long-handled bulb planter is just the job, sparing you all that back-breaking bending and is just as handy for daffodil bulbs. A comfy T-grip ash handle coupled with a tapered blade that should make planting bulbs child’s play.
2.7kg, £41.35 Buy here
Tulips make for a stunning means of illuminating your spring borders. Thomson & Morgan have a fabulous array of tulip bulbs, from parrot, to ice cream, to the evocatively named Black Satin. Buy here
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