- Winter prune apple trees and give them their first Winterwash of the season
- Repair and treat fencing and timber structures while climbing plants are dormant
- Bring all watering equipment indoors, including hoses and sprinklers
- Scoop fallen leaves and rotting plant debris from ponds
- Rake up fallen leaves that could be sheltering slugs
- Net cabbages and other brassicas to protect them from pigeon damage
- Trim autumn-flowering heathers
- Collect fallen rose leaves that could carry diseases over to next season and plant new roses
- Start to winter-prune your Wisteria, cutting back summer side-shoots to 2 or 3 buds.
- Prune climbing roses now; cutting away diseased or damaged growth and tying in any new shoots to their support. Prune older flowered side shoots back by two-thirds of their length.
- Plant up winter containers with hardy cyclamen, ivy, skimmia and evergreen grasses such as carex to add colour to your garden. Place them in prominent places beside entrances and well used paths to enjoy their winter display.
- Plant some shrubs for winter interest. Sarcoccoca confusa adds colour and fragrance to your garden at this time of year.
- If you still haven't planted your tulip bulbs there is still time, provided the ground isn't frozen.
Bring your Garden in from the cold.
A screen that protects your house from the cold is akin to wearing a wool hat on a cold day. The screen you use around your house needs careful consideration, the type of plant you use, your location and your practical requirements will determine your choice of plants. Ask yourself the following questions, am I looking for privacy, if this is the case, it needs to be 5-6 feet high. Do I want a formal clipped hedge, remember that this requires a lot of work and if maintenance is not carried out, fast growing varieties can get out of hand very quickly and can cause you and your neighbours a lot of problems. The advantage of fast growing varieties is that they are usually cheaper simply because it doesn’t take so long in the nursery to produce them. Slow growing plants can be more expensive but in the long run maybe more cost effective as they don’t need so much clipping. As I write this I am looking out on an informal hedge of holly covered in berries at 8 feet high, it has taken 10 years but the advantages were worth waiting for. It is extremely hardy as I live on a very exposed site, no clipping, loads of winter berries for me to enjoy and the birds. It makes a perfect backdrop for most planting and if you live in an area where noise is a problem holly is considered the best choice. The density and shape of leaf seems to absorb noise. Anybody in the Mullingar area who wants to see a glorious beech hedge should visit Belvedere but the beauty of beech is everywhere to be seen at the moment, not the fastest hedge to grow but if planted properly in any reasonable soil (it does not like wet) and kept weed free which is most important 18” each side of the young plants and fed in spring and again in august, you should have a spectacular 6 feet high hedge in 4 years. To help keep the russet leaves on beech throughout the winter the hedge should be trimmed in august. On very wet or heavy soil use hormbeam, it will thrive where others will fail. Laurel is a very popular hedging plant that can be kept trimmed to a reasonable height, grows quite quickly is very hardy and evergreen. Yew makes a beautiful hedge and should be planted much more and is the perfect choice on a dry sandy site. It is extremely hardy and if you want to attract thrushes to your garden, the berry it produces is their favourite food.