How to build an amazing winter garden

By Swindon Link - 30 November 2023

Home and Garden

The winter months are here again, and not too enticing either. With cold fronts and unpredictable weather events on top of the trademark short days and dark, cold nights, it can seem that there’s little going for the season.

This is rendered all the truer by the state of many gardens in wintertime, as deciduous plants shed their colour and life for a distinctly grimmer hibernatory form. But your winter garden needn’t be a depressing sight; indeed, there are ways to make your garden every bit as beautiful in the colder months. But is it hard to do so?

Choosing Your Plants

Firstly, let’s address what is likely to be your biggest concern with respect to building a beautiful winter garden: the flora. Most plants with which our gardens are most familiar aren’t quite known for their winter resilience. This is due to our predilection for spring plants such as daffodils and tulips, which bring a unique and colourful vibrance to our flowerbeds after a dark and dingy season.

But there are plants that are well-suited to the cold of winter, too, which are conversely selected against on account of not being the sightliest in the summertime. There are flowering plants that bring colour and scent throughout, from evergreen shrubs like Arbutus Unendo to herbaceous perennials like Iris unguicularis.

Hardscaping for Safety

With picking out winter-friendly plants actually turning out to be quite simple an endeavour, it would seem that the arguably more difficult part of planning a winter garden relates to hardscaping. By hardscaping, we are, of course, referring to any decisions you make about the pathways and patios that will constitute your garden’s more walkable areas.

Given the changeable weather of the winter months, it would make sense to put safety higher on your list of priorities. Safe passage can be more-or-less guaranteed through a shrewd choice of paving, be it an anti-slip slab or even just gravel for better purchase. Certain forms and designs of pathway can prevent standing water, reducing the risk of ice. With regard to more casual parts of the winter garden, conventional decking should be considered a no-no; decking planks can grow slippery and slimy in wet weather, increasing the risk of a fall.

Final Decorations

The final pieces of the puzzle present in those ancillary considerations – that is, decorations and accoutrements that pull the disparate elements of your garden into winter harmony. Here, some great creative liberties could be taken – from intriguing colour schemes to incongruently bright colour clashes to rail against the dying of the light. Careful consideration should be given to your flowerpots in particular, which can be used to great effect in crafting a journey from back door to garden’s foot.

Here, then, we have discovered that creating a winter garden is not in fact all that hard a task. There are winter-flowering plants ready to bring new life in the cold, safe options for new pathways that let you enjoy the cold and beauty in comfort, and easy ways to bring colour and life besides.

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