Hello and welcome to the new year and the first of our regular garden features. Over the coming
months I will endeavor to give you some sound advice as well as interesting facts that I hope will
inspire you to try something a little different in your own garden.
You may think it strange that I chose to start this column in the dead of winter but as we all know the enchanting snow covering that has hidden a multitude of sins will not last forever. Winter is the perfect time to see your garden in all its naked glory. When its dressed in its summer finery it can be easy to sit back and look at all the pretty flowers instead of focusing on all the skeletons in your patch, and what better time to add winter interest with evergreen foliage and even winter flowers.
Winter jobs in the garden are typically
Cutting the grass (when its not covered in snow)
Planting winter baskets and tubs
Treating and mending and fencing, sheds, summer houses, arches and arbours.
Pruning fruit trees such as figs
Planning and constructing new features
Don’t move improve have been the property buzz words of 2009 when our finances were hit hard and now in this time of recovery.
Take a long hard look and decide now if there are any areas that just don’t work, paths that don’t go any where piles of waste that are usually hidden or areas you would prefer were hidden. Maybe its just a feature you have been planning to add to but just haven’t gotten around to it. If you are truly satisfied then congratulations but if not then now’s the time to get to work.
Yes it may be a little nippy but as soon as you get to work you will forget all about that just
remember to leave any concreting or cementing until the freezing weather has passed or you may have to start again.
Start by making a list of all the features, furniture, plants and styles you would have in your dream garden. Now you can narrow these down to what is possible in your own garden for example a lake looks beautiful in an estate but a pond would be more fitting for a courtyard garden. Most of your dreams are possible just on a slightly smaller scale.
A winter evenings task is to collect pictures and cuttings from magazines, newspapers, leaflets,
postcards or anything that inspires you. They don’t even have to be gardens whatever takes your fancy from vases to vehicles as long as you find them aesthetically pleasing
These will give you an idea of what shapes, colours and styles you are drawn to.
Another good reference is a panoramic photographic image of your garden in its current state as
you can sit in the comfort of your home even in the dark evenings you have a clear image of how
your garden looks. Stand with your back to your house or to the end of the garden and turn to face one side of the garden. Take the first photo then turn so that you still have most of your previous view in the next photograph and repeat until you reach the other side when developed you can stick these photos together. Some digital cameras have this feature and if you are lucky enough to own one this is the perfect opportunity to test it.
It is also useful to sketch the new look garden using tracing paper over the panoramic view.
Remember to make a note of your favorite plants and their positions as they can easily get lost in all the enthusiasm.
The Landscape gardener Humphry Repton (a term he himself coined) produced lots of visual aids for his clients called ‘Red books’. These red books, so called because of there covers, were full of illustrations,overlays and water colours to allow the reader to gain an insight into his ideas for the finished garden. As a related interesting fact Humphry Repton was born in Bury St Edmunds in 1752, grew up in Norwich and is buried in Aylsham churchyard 1818. Sheringham park is one of Humphry Repton’s most famous local commissions.
You now have a starting point from which to plan how to bring your garden together by fixing all
those problem areas and adding brand new features. Any large projects or complete redesigns can now be done but I would recommend learning how to accurately measure your garden before attempting this as it will prevent any costly mistakes.
If you really don’t feel like gardening in winter, just don’t like gardening or feel like treating
yourself or a loved one,why not employ the services of an experienced professional.
Shadows have a variety of different packages from garden workshops to full redesigns or
competitively priced maintenance services.
Must visit gardens
Blickling Hall a well known local national trust owned Jacobean house, Gardens and park. The
gardens open after the winter break around February the 1st with the house and plant centre reopening around the 28th of February.
Please check all opening dates to avoid disappointment.
Must have plants
Daphne bholua ‘Alba’ A pretty evergreen variety with white winter flowers an easy maintenance
shrub. Size 50-180cm Hardy Warning poisonous if eaten.