The year seems to pass by in an instant. Before you even get a chance to stop and smell the flowers in your little plant kingdom, it is time to say goodbye to summer opulence and start with winter garden preparations.
What are the most important things you will need to do to make sure your garden is ready for next season? In addition to protecting the existing perennials and evergreens, now is the perfect time to add new specimens to your garden. In fact, as late autumn and winter are the period of dormancy for bare root plants, the season for planting trees is only starting.
Let us take a look at some of the best things you can do in your garden as winter approaches, and find out what to plant in November!
Protecting Your Winter Garden Plants
Even if the plants in your garden are hardy and well-suited to the UK climate, they can nevertheless benefit from a bit of sheltering and TLC. For instance, while they have grown accustomed to the British shift of seasons, tree ferns could be affected by frost and sub-zero temperatures. Luckily, protecting tree ferns in the winter is not complicated. Here at Paramount Plants and Gardens, we use straw or hay to keep tree ferns safe from cold. A cost-effective and tried-and-true method!
Of course, it is not only the exotic plants which need our help to go through winter unscathed. When it comes to winter garden preparations and tree protection, mulching will be your top priority. Keeping the roots of young or tender plants covered will ensure they survive freezing temperatures and retain much-needed moisture in the soil. Depending on the specific plants and the level of winter protection needed, you can choose between various types of mulch. Straw, hay, wood chips, and fallen leaves are some the most popular choices with UK gardeners. These organic mulches will also feed the soil and add beneficial nutrients to it as they decompose.
What to Plant in November: Root Balls and Bare Root Trees
While a big part of winter gardening tasks is centred around the protection of plants, this is also the season when new trees or shrubs should be planted. Contrary to popular belief, planting in cold weather is actually less stressful for the plant. For this reason, bare root trees and root balls are sold only during autumn and winter months in the UK. The period of their dormancy is used for plantings, and it helps ensure that young trees or shrubs take root in their new location. Once the root ball is planted and until it is established, it should be watered constantly, regardless of the cold temperatures.
Adding Colour to a Winter Garden
The first thing that comes to mind when someone says ‘winter garden’ is usually a barren and bleak landscape. But it does not have to be that way! There are plenty of plants that truly shine against a snowy backdrop, offering interest only in late autumn or winter. Take flowering winter plants or evergreen shrubs for example. Is there anything more recognisable than the blood-red berries and dark green leathery leaves of English Holy dusted with snow? Or the stunning and iconic Christmas rose that blooms just in time for the holidays? Winter flowering camellias are another example of blooms that can show off your winter garden as are the long-flowering Mahonia, including the aptly named Mahonia X Media Winter Sun. Get lots more ideas for injecting colour and structure to your garden in winter on our feature Best Plants for Winter.
Naturally, planting evergreens is also a great way to add some year-round colour and texture to the garden. Whether you want a dwarf conifer or a tall columnar shrub, we’ve got lots to choose from for your winter garden here at Paramount Plants & Gardens.
We offer various cultivars with winter interest. From evergreen shrubs and trees to colourful dogwood varieties and rambling roses. With just a few new additions to your winter garden, you can make sure you get to enjoy nature’s beauty and bounty throughout the year.