The garden experts from Birmingham Botanical Gardens provide their expertise on how to protect your garden from the cold weather this Winter and bringing your garden in doors.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year – to be out in your garden! Temperatures have plummeted but as long as it’s dry, you can start mulching your flowerbeds ( just don’t apply to frozen earth – the mulch will keep the cold in). If you want to get something in the ground, you can still plant tulip bulbs, shrubs and deciduous trees.
It’s a good idea to wrap up certain plants, such as tree ferns and tender shrubs, for the winter period. Shrubs should be
wrapped with hessian, or failing that, fleece. Any plants that are not fully hardy should have their crowns covered with straw or bracken.
Other important outdoor tasks include looking at your wooden structures to see what needs to be fixed. Now is a good time to turn your attention to any wooden structures by mending broken panels and treating with wood preservative. Save the painting for next year, though, as it won’t dry in this weather.
If you feel it’s too cold to stay outside for too long, you can always get a head start on next year by sharpening your blades: a good clean cut lowers the risk of infection, and you may not have time to carry out this task in spring. Clean and oil any tools that you don’t think you’ll use over the winter to ensure they remain in top condition for next year.
When it gets really cold, we like to sit by the fire, dreaming of warmer days and flicking through our seed catalogues. Bring a touch of the outdoors into your living room with a Christmas Hyacinth, Cyclamen or Azalea from our plant sales
area and put them in a cool, but welllit spot in your home for Christmas. A temperature of 13-15C (55-59F) is ideal. Phalaenopsis orchids and poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) require a minimum temperature of 16-19C (60- 66F), but do not position them close to radiators, open fires or draughts.
You could even bring container-grown herbs such as chives and mint indoors for forcing on the windowsill – there’s nothing quite like eating home grown produce over Christmas.
Feeling motivated? Then why not visit Birmingham Botanical Gardens for more inspiration. Check out their website as well at birminghambotanicalgardens.co.uk