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What I love about winter in the garden

Finding some little snowdrops already peeking through the soil this morning made me think about all the things I'm looking forward to this winter.

I love the hoar frost on the fennel seedheads outside the kitchen window  - I planted the fennel there so that on a cold winter's day I'd look out from the kitchen window and see my garden through the frosted fennel - so I don't cut the fennel back until late winter/early spring.

I love watching the birds on the feeders that hang from our big ash trees - we get so many different ones and I can sit and watch them for hours.

Winter is such a good time to get to know your garden - ours is a very new garden and there's lots still to do - looking at the garden when it's in monochrome is a real help in planning for shape and structure.

What do you look forward to seeing and doing in your garden in the winter?

Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.



  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,411

    I shall have to go and check all the snowdrop sites.

    It's only a few weeks to the winter solstice then the days get longer. By mid January I'm looking for (and finding) signs of spring. 

    I spend a lot of winter garden time looking for signs of new growth. A garden is never truly dormant, though sometimes it all disappears under snow.  There's always a bud growing or the scent of sarcoccca, lonicera or viburnum. Then, when the snow melts, the snowdrops and aconites are ready, hellebores not far behind and it all starts again.

    There's a bit of tree work to do first though. That's another thing I enjoy, a bit of pruning and shredding. OH on the chainsaw, me on the loppers and shredder. We keep warm pruning then we keep warm again later by the woodstove.


    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • One of my most  favourite sights is hazel catkins dancing in the breeze - I'm hoping to find room for a little hazel hedge at the bottom of the garden image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • chickychicky Posts: 10,402

    That's quite cheered me up - must go snowdrop hunting soon.  funny thing is all the leaves are still on the trees here - makes it hard to believe we are close to mid-winter - I have never known an autumn so late

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,411

    I thought autumn was late til I looked at previous years' photos chicky. Golden field maples in late November appear regularly.

    Looking out, it's autumn, lots of colour still. It feels more like winter when you get out there. The temperature isn't that low but it's drizzling on and off and a bit breezy.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916

    Like Chicky, this thread has cheered me up. It's only since joining the forum I've started to think positively about Winter, I used to put the garden to bed and sit and sulk and long for Spring.

    I've always left the teasel and cardoon heads on, they look good with frost on, the birds use the fluff from cardoon for nesting. This year I have a small eryngium near the window that I should look good frosted ( please say if it should be cut down). I leave some heads on the buddleja and there's always the holly to look at. This year I've got 5 more lots of bulbs around the garden & seven more tubs planted.

    Can't say I relish the cold months, but if I keep my eyes open to what is around and stay positive it will soon be Spring.image Plus I'll have to check GH for stuff I've sown that might germinate early imageLovely thread Dove.  

  • I also love wandering around during Winter looking for signs of life.  Some things I regularly check are the clematis in mind of pruning in February - sometimes the buds get going a bit early during a mild period and then get killed by frost so they need pruning differently to the original 'plan'.  Noticed a few snowdrops just peeking above the soil while planting some bulbs yesterday (as well as a few Honey fungus rhizomes in new areas - grr!)  Lots of cyclamen hederifolium in places I didn't plant them - clearly spread by seed which have a high germination rate in my garden.  Looking forward to post solstice - always feel better in myself when the days start lengthening.  At the moment I can only get out in the garden at weekends and I'm not an early riser, so the light is gone before I get much done.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • My first baby was born during the night of the Winter Solstice, so it's always been a time of excitement and wonderful new beginnings for me image 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • MrsGardenMrsGarden Posts: 3,951
    Like KEF I never really considered the garden in winter until being here amongst the forumers. For the last year or two I have concentrated on trying to find late flowering plants, this year my garden won't stop flowering! I imagine its a combination of better chosen plants and the weather this year.

    We used to have a show of snowdrops but they disappeared two years ago, always thought they were difficult to grow so never replanted any, another one for the list image

    I love to see the garden in the snow and now look forward to learning more about the garden in winter, with GH, cloches and fleecr to fathom
  • I've always loved holly - it always felt as if it was special to me as a child, then I discovered it's on the family crest so maybe I have some sort of inherited memory.  Anyway, I'd love to find somewhere for a holly in this garden - pondering image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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