Garden Tips

Our gardening expert Victoria Truman explains how to keep your garden smelling sweet this winter

Start thinking about shrubs that smell sweetly during the winter months. Plants that flower in winter are always a joy. They’re often beautifully scented and attract any insects that brave the winter cold.

Choose the right location for these plants. To get the full benefit of winter-scented plants, it’s a good idea to plant them somewhere near the house, for example, next to the front door or at the edge of a path, so that you can appreciate their fragrance each time you pass.

Some of my favourites are:
Viburnum x bodnantense
Sweet box (Sarcococca confusa)
Witch hazel (Hamamelis × intermedia) Winter daphne (Daphne odora)
Winter honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima)
Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox)

Start planning a garden redesign in the winter so you can enjoy your garden in the summer. Ensure you get to use your garden in the summer, because if it’s being landscaped, you definitely won’t be able to use your outdoor space. It’s unlikely you’ll be sitting outside in the sun that much in late autumn and through into winter, so it’s the perfect time to begin a redesign.

It’s much better to move and relocate plants and shrubs over the winter when they aren’t growing or flowering. You probably won’t want to keep every single plant, but it’s much kinder to those that you really do want to keep to be dug up and moved around in the colder months.

November Tips

Rake leaves and make leaf mold or compost.
Clean, sharpen, and oil garden tools.
Finish cutting back perennials that have died down.
Start forcing bulbs like paper whites, hyacinth, and amaryllis ready for Christmas.
Add organic matter to beds.
Cover compost so that rain doesn’t flood and leach the nutrients.
Keep weeding.
Lightly prune roses while they’re dormant. Plant bare root shrubs, trees and roses.