Although this may not feel like the greatest time of year to get out into your garden, spring is only around the corner and on the brighter, dryer days of winter, it’s a good opportunity to have a good look around your outdoor space, do some tidying up, plan any improvements you’d like to make to your garden décor and think about the planting you’d like to do in the coming weeks.
I like to cast a critical eye over our bare garden at this time of the year because most things have died back, the weeds aren’t running amok and the grass isn’t two feet tall which all helps me to really see the problem areas, where the gaps are in the beds and what could be improved upon.
Though we’re not big gardeners, we do appreciate plants and nature and want our garden to look nice and to be able to enjoy sitting in it on any fine days. Neither are we experienced landscapers, but this spring we are aiming to have a go at creating a garden path. I figure that it shouldn’t be beyond our capabilities – we need to dig the path, level it with sand and set down some paving slabs or stepping stones so we have a route to the garden shed that will hopefully avoid us treading muddy footprints in the kitchen (which is what happens currently if we need to retrieve anything from the bottom of the garden).
Planning the path got me thinking about some other decorative and practical features I’d like to incorporate into our garden this year; a fire pit would be great as it means we could stay outside a little longer in the evenings even when the temperature drops. Also, since our boys discovered the joy of making S’mores they would love to try that again, so a fire pit would be great for doing that.
Outdoor lighting is something else we’re keen to install, especially along the planned garden path and I can’t resist pretty string lights or lanterns in the trees or draped beneath the garden parasol.
I’d love to introduce a feature like an arbour (above) or maybe a pergola; my parents have one of these in their garden and the way their Clematis and Honeysuckle trails over it is lovely. My dad built his own pergola from scratch, now we’re not quite so ‘hands on’ but we could construct a pre-made pergola kit, I’m sure. Not only can they be good value, they’re a great way to add some structure, height and interest to a garden.
I’ve noticed that our fences are looking tired and faded, their green stain is patchy and washed out, so a fresh coat of a lovely shade designed for outside timber would perk them up nicely and give a smart new backdrop for when we do our seasonal planting.
So although these days can seem a bit grey, cold and uninspiring, take heart that it won’t be for too long. This ‘down time’ in the garden is the ideal opportunity to plan ahead, so that when spring does come knocking you’ll be ready and waiting.