Tuesday, 20 January 2015


I think most people's garden is looking a little 'tired' (at least here in the UK) at the moment and I do find it challenging to maintain it during the winter months. It's easy to make the garden look beautiful when the sun is shining and the grass is green, but in January/February, it will be looking pretty grim and most of us just leave it as it is until the warm weather returns again.

Our garden is very much 'work in progress' but we have definitely improved it in the last few years. During the winter months it is covered in leaves (thanks to the old trees at the bottom of the garden) and is often flooded (because it rains so much here and our current drainage system is out of date).

However, the biggest problem for us is the grass which seems to turn muddy during these months but it always seems to recover for spring/summer time. It is especially annoying as our daughter, who is a toddler, cannot play as much in the garden (at least without making a total mess). All my friends in our area also seem to have the same problem so I guess it is to do with the London clay soil underneath it.

My husband usually does the gardening but this time we decided to 'help'. It's funny how much my daughter loved playing with the leaves! We have been a bit lazy and left them lying around for too long so it was time to do something about it.

If you really want to keep your garden looking beautiful and ready for spring/summer, you shouldn't forget to do some basic gardening tasks during the winter! It really doesn't take that much time but I promise by the time the warm weather arrives, you will be thanking yourself for all the work you have done in advance.

Here's my to do list for my winter garden:

  • Pick the old leaves from the grass 
  • Pick the weeds off growing stumps
  • Prune trees and shrubs
  • Also dig over borders around shrubs and trees so you can see the brown soil
  • Clean patio and garden lights
  • Use a paving scraper on the paving and slabs
  • Clean the windows facing the garden (believe me, it will make the garden look nicer)

Have a look at Which - Winter Garden Maintenance and Seasonal Gardening - January if you are feeling ambitious and want to learn even more. I found these two websites very helpful. I am also being realistic so I have only picked the things that I absolutely must do and that are important to me. Whether I get to do them all as planned is a different story..

Due to a relatively warm winter, I can already see the first signs of spring in our garden; spring onions! I think there is something beautiful about this season. It reminds me of summer and how all the flowers and plants will start growing again. Also, believe it or not, frost is important to some plants so they can survive and produce some great fruit during the summer months. So, cold can actually be a good thing although not for our palm tree obviously. Our palm tree will hopefully survive due to the mild winter this year but in the future we should really try to protect it from the frost.

I have said it before and I will say it again; never underestimate the time you will spend making your garden look good! It is a big commitment, and with today's busy lifestyles, many of us just don't have the time to do it all. We are still doing everything ourselves but I am not ruling out getting a professional gardener or landscaper in the future. It is such hard work and the research you need to do in advance takes time as well.

Also, I don't want to spend too much time on gardening at the moment as we are hoping to build an extension in a few months time which will without a doubt ruin the grass for short term. I am very excited because I am hoping our new extension will help us to appreciate our garden even more.

In fact, I am heading this weekend to see 'Don't Move, Improve' event organised by NLA. The aim of the event is to provide inspiration for people who are planning to extend their homes and some of London's best and most innovative home improvements will be revealed there. I cannot wait to get some inspiration and they are also offering free advice but you need to book your slot in advance! The exhibition/event is free and you can find more information on their official website. I will be writing more about our extension plans very soon!


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