As the days grow shorter and colder your garden will need some TLC to keep it healthy all winter long. We've compiled some good pointers below to help you maintain a gorgeous garden, and there is also a wealth of great advice on the Swell UK Blog.
Flower Beds and Lawns.
Remove dead and decaying leaves and plants from flower beds, as not only does it look unsightly it stops light and oxygen from getting to the earth. However, this debris can also be useful. Create a compost heap and deposit all garden waste to create a rich compost which can be used to feed flower beds and containers over the winter.
Remove any annual plants that will not flower again, they too can be composted.
Cut back any overgrown plants, shrubs or trees to avoid them becoming damaged or of course causing damage in the event of bad weather. If it snows, knock any heavy downfall off lower branches to avoid breakage. This will avoid the risk of snow from above adding to the increased weight as it falls.
Remove any leaves from the lawn to avoid any stagnant or diseased patches where it has been starved of oxygen and light. This also lessens the risk of any unwelcome pests making a home on your lawn. Experts advise not to walk on a frozen lawn as this can damage and weaken the fragile stems.
Any lawn areas that have become compacted may not drain well, so use a pitch fork to create a series of holes that will let water through. Adding some sand will help too.
Again, remove dead leaves and rotting plants from both the surface and base of the pond. This will rot, releasing toxic fumes, which can be trapped in a frozen pond. Using a pond vacuum and a rake will make sure it's clean and tidy. A pond net is a good idea as it will keep any further debris from the water.
A pond heater is a great tool. It will create a 'blow hole' on the surface of the pond, which releases any toxins. An in pond heater is great for Koi ponds as it regulates the temperature of the water all winter long.
Remove any delicate or more exotic plants, as they will not cope with frost well. Take them indoors, wrapping the roots with damp newspaper and keep them in a warm place, such as a heated cellar or shed. Ensure that the newspaper is kept moist to keep the plants alive over the season.
Drain and insulate any garden taps and pipework. In the event of freezing temperatures this could avoid cracked, burst pipes.
Before you move any debris or rocks, check for hibernating wildlife. This is especially important if you are planning any bonfires, as little animals love a cosy, warm pile of leaves or timber.
Some flowers can be planted over the winter, and may even flower if the weather is mild. Try the Winter Flowering pansy, Violas and Primula, to name just a few.
Wrap containers in thick newspaper or even bubble wrap to protect delicate roots. Raising the container onto bricks or stones will also encourage drainage and hopefully avoid frost damage to the pots.
Check out the Swell UK Blog for more advice over the winter months, which has lots of information to help you make the very best of your garden.