A famous Gardner was once asked what is favourite time of the year was , his reply was “Now”….and the funny thing about “Now” is no matter how cold it is…the garden is always in need of things to be done.
For example many plants will be dormant in the Winter, meaning it is an ideal time to move plants as there will less stress on them.
Amazingly one should resist the urge to tidy too much in the garden for example fallen leaves in the flower beds provide a valuable thick cover for wildlife acting as “Mother Natures Duvet” for the many Bugs in the garden. These Bugs also will be sheltering in the hollow stems of dead perennials so cutting everything right back until Spring has its benefits. Hedgehogs will also tend to hibernate in areas with dead leaves and log piles, so avoid strimming etc.
Despite the low temperatures and short daylight hours, there are things that can be done especially if the weather is mild.
For example if you were considering either planting Roses or starting a new Hedge. Then this is by far the best time to undertake this task, if you are brave enough, to get outdoors. In the Cold Winter Months one can really take advantage of bare rooted shrubs and trees that are lifted in the Winter while they are dormant.
This Method is called Bare Root Planting and will always be cheaper, and most importantly will only be available in the Winter Months, as they literally arrive Bare Root, in Bundles. Meaning they never had the cost of being grown in pots and were simply grown in a big field and lifted after the first frosts. This method is used to grow many Trees as well meaning bargains can be found.
Another area that can be tackled is…… getting on top of the Weed problem .Its important to be aware that Weeds will grow once the Temperature is above 6.C this can often result that when Spring arrives they are well on the way to establishing themselves. So by investing your time now in Weed Clearance, will mean you will be one step ahead, in gardening terms in the Spring. Another factor especially in coastal areas, that one should be aware of, is how surprisingly dry the ground can get when it has not rained (If that’s Possible). So monitoring plants that do not die back like during the Winter is not as futile as it sounds.
Finally getting Perennials back into shape and cutting them back and then Mulching everything is the most important job to be done. Cutting them back to just above Soil Level and putting a minimum of a finger depth of Fine Bark Mulch will help protect them from most Conditions the winter months will throw at them.