Top tips to protect your garden this winter

Mark Dwelly, gardener at Stanbridge Earls

Gardens may look rather bleak and uninspiring over the winter months, but this period of time is actually really important for your garden. The thought of spending time outside amid frosts, downpours and even snow might not fill you with joy, but time well spent now will benefit your garden in the long run. We asked Mark Dwelly, Gardener at Audley Stanbridge Earls, for his top winter gardening tips.

Agapanthus plant

1. Divide and conquer

Now is a great time to divide your Agapanthus, especially if you have them in a pot and they’re putting on less flowers or going a bit 'bald' in the middle. They do like quite a constricted root system, so you don’t need to replant them into a large pot. The roots do not tease away that easily, so don’t be afraid to use a spade – or even a bread knife! You may find the roots become sticky when you cut them, so before you replant them, leave them out overnight out of the rain to dry, as they may rot if planted straight away.

2. Raise your plant pots

As we come into the wet season, think about raising your pots off the ground to prevent waterlogging – a really simple tip but really important!

Leaves with rain drops on them
Planted bulbs in a plant pot

3. Create 'bulb lasagne'

If you’re tight for space and pots are your only option, think about creating ‘bulb lasagne’. This creates a good wave of spring color (large pots are better for this if you have them). Start with the latest flowering at the bottom (tulips) add another layer of compost with some daffodils, then top off with Violas. Make sure you choose bulbs with different flowering times and provide good drainage at the bottom of the pot.

4. Make use of excess leaves

Leaf mould is a fantastic way to add organic matter to your garden and plant pots. Fill up some big bags, wet them and close them up, use a fork to punch in some holes and store out of the way for the following year.

Fallen leaves on the floor
Indoor plants grouped together

5. Group houseplants together

Even though your house plants will be protected from the cold, they may need some adjustment to their routine. The air will become drier once the heating comes on so try moving them all together. Their process of transpiration releases water vapour so the air will become more humid and less likely to dry out. Alternatively, place your pots in the bathroom for a day or two and they will benefit from the moisture created by the shower.

Create an eco-friendly garden

By creating an eco-friendly garden you can encourage biodiversity, reduce emissions, and save water.