As we head towards Christmas, we are entering the coldest months of the year. We actually had a pretty mild fall, so if you haven’t prepared your outdoor space for winter yet, now is your last chance to do so.
The fall and winter months bring some of the prettiest foliage. The bursts of warm colors in the trees and shrubs can brighten up the duller days and make even the smallest outdoor spaces a wonderful place to spend time. Replanting your garden, window boxes, and potted containers over the next few weeks can help create a beautiful showcase for the fall and winter seasons.
outdoor chrysanthemums; cyclamen; blooming violets; flowering heather; evergreen perennials, such as hardy ferns, lamium, heuchera, and Christmas roses; holly and ivy; evergreen shrubs such as low-hanging Gaultheria procumbens, Sarcoccoca hookeriana digyna; and potted topiary displays – all great for this time of year, and many of these plants will look great all winter long.
Planters and potted containers are also a great way to brighten up the exterior of your home, apartment, or patio when space is limited. The top 5 winter container plants recommended by the Royal Horticultural Society are viola, daffodil ‘Tête-à-tête’, heuchera ‘Burgundy Frost’, curry plant (Helicyhrysum) and soft shield fern.
This is your last chance to get your spring flowering bulbs in the ground and sow seeds like sweet peas. Small bulbs, such as iris, snowdrops and moths, should be planted as soon as possible because they spoil quickly if left outside too long. Daffodils and daffodils are very resilient bulbs, so you can plant them whenever you want, but you shouldn’t plant tulips until later in the fall – if put in the ground too early they can be affected by ‘tulip fire’ disease or frost damage.
Take care of the leaves
At this time of year, the leaves begin to fall. They look nice for a short period of time when the fall colors create a beautiful orange and red carpet… but they don’t look as good once the rain comes in and they get all mushy and slippery underfoot. Keep collecting them as often as possible and try not to leave them on the lawn for too long or the grass will be damaged. If you have space outside, you can use all of this yard waste for composting.
Turn up the heat
The colder weather doesn’t mean we have to limit ourselves indoors for the next seven months. We get many beautiful days during the fall and winter seasons, so why not make the most of your garden by creating a comfortable patio space and adding a heater, chimney or fire pit to keep you toasty while enjoying your morning coffee. Regardless of the temperature, the fresh air does us all good and cheers us up. You can also place some solar lamps and lanterns in your yard to make it even more inviting.
Think of the birds and the bees
Birds, squirrels, bees and other critters struggle for food and shelter in the fall and winter, so it’s good to be considerate of nature. A bird table and hanging feeders are also a great way to see all the different species that come into the garden. And if you’ve got wood pigeons around (you know those grumpy pigeons that try to balance on the most precarious branches?), you’ll amuse yourself for hours watching them hang from feeders, hustling each other to join the food. come, and generally just make a big fuss.
When it gets colder, bees go into hibernation. This is something to remember when replanting. There may be a new queen burrowing into the ground – they burrow in compost and make a small hole to sleep until spring – so try to be careful when changing potted plants. You really scare yourself and the bee if you disturb her, but sometimes it is unavoidable. If you find a bee hibernating, try leaving her where she is or move her to another pot.
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