Creating the perfect Winter garden

The weather in the UK – and especially Scotland – can be unpredictable at the best of times, and cold sharp frosts can have a drastic effect on some of the more tender plants in your garden.  Thankfully, there are some age-old techniques, as well as some modern ones, you can tap into to get a stunning garden no matter the season.

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Pick your plants wisely

Many summer and autumn flowering plants, particularly half hardy species such as begonias, chrysanthemums and dahlias, will need protected during the winter months. It’s worth doing some research into what plants may need to be dug up and stored in a greenhouse or shed over winter, or if that seems like too much trouble, simply opt for full hardy plants.  

Bulbs are a great way of adding colour to any garden, and if planted now, most will start to come into bloom from around March onwards. Crocuses are a classic flower that can be planted from mid-September onwards, and look great with a sprinkling of winter frost. Snowdrops are another fail-safe example of plants capable of growing even in very cold weather conditions.

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Improve soil quality

Autumn is a great time of year to start improving the quality of your soil. Iit can be difficult to grow anything if your soil is compacted or has poor drainage – issues that can get all the worse with the onset of wet weather.  You can tell if you have a poor water table by digging a small pit in your soil, leaving it overnight and seeing how much water is in there in the morning. If there is a significant amount in the hole, you may have poor drainage.  Try incorporating organic matter, such as leaf mould or well rotted horse manure – these will break down over the winter period and can be thoroughly dug in come Spring, hopefully helping to significantly improve the quality of your soil.

There are also hydroponic systems which take away the need for soil. Visit a hydroponics shop to take a look at what systems are available for you to grow beautiful plants whatever the weather. There are many more different types of hydroponic systems than you might think, so make sure you research which one is right for your plants.

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Move it all inside

If you feel that the upkeep of a winter garden might be a little bit much for you, moving your garden indoors may be the best option for you. Obviously, there are some plants that it is simply impractical to grow inside the home, but many others can easily adapt to a life between four walls. The main problem people have with growing plants indoors is the lack of humidity. So, it’s best to buy a humidifier for your home to eliminate this problem.

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