Top tips for winter gardening
1st December 2011
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As autumn turns to winter (it's December after all) local landscape gardener and grounds maintenance expert Mac Patel of Tilia Services gives us a few tips:

Perhaps the biggest job is to get leaves off the lawn and beds. Leaf drop has lasted longer this year, so even last week we collected nearly 3 jumbo bags of leaves in a garden in Ealing. Most of this went into compost bins which will provide leaf mulch for the flower beds once it has all rotted down. Those of you with oak trees in your garden may have noticed an extraordinary amount on the ground this year. On one estate we work on, we picked up 80 to 90kgs of them.

It’s also worth tackling weeds in the winter, so that weeding is not such a chore in the spring.

Take out those annuals and biennials that have completed flowering, they don’t look nice and they attract slugs, snails and unwanted diseases if left alone. Dig them out!!

Tidy up around your perennials, clear out old withered leaves and carefully loosen the soil surrounding them. This breaks up tough compacted soil and affords better drainage and allows air and to work its way to the roots.

What about adding some plants for the winter? There are plenty including Anemone, Pansies, Cyclamen, Hellebore, Viloas and Narcissus. Or even shrubs such as Cornus, Chosya, Euonymus, Garrya and Eleagnus. All the above will add interest and colour to a ‘sleeping garden’.

If the weather takes a turn for the worst and it’s snowing, wet or freezing?  Well you can garden from the comfort of your favourite chair with a nice cup of coffee (or whatever takes your fancy) and make plans for the garden for next year. It will be spring before you know it!

For more help designing, landscaping or maintaining your garden, contact the experts recommended by local people on thebestof Ealing.

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