Seasonal Advice: Winter
Temperatures have dropped, the heating’s on, the number of layers we wear have increased and hot chocolate drinks are on standby – Winter’s coming. Though you may feel inclined to stay in the warmth, you know you cannot ignore your garden, regardless of whether you have natural stone or porcelain, even in winter. Here are some tips on what to do to look after your garden, the landscape and the wildlife within it.
Maintain your Paving
Be watchful in winter as snow and ice that has frozen can make your natural stone slippery. Regularly sweeping snow and water off the stone will prevent your paving freezing over, plus you’ll be able to enjoy walking through your winter landscape.
Porcelain is frost and slip resistant. Due to its low moisture absorption making it easier to sweep away snow and ice while not causing damage to the paving.
Plant your Winter Garden
November and December is the perfect time to prepare your winter plants. Pansies, Violas and Primroses are the perfect winter plant amongst the bright red holly berries. It is also a great time to plant bulbs ready for a Spring bloom.
Clean your Bird Feeders
As the weather gets colder, birds rely more on gardens as a source of food in winter. They are also very vulnerable to bird disease. Droppings not cleaned out of feeders can cause disease to spread, so be sure to give them a thorough clean before refilling with delicious bird food. Also, be sure to clean your hands thoroughly after cleaning.
Empty/Clean Nest Boxes
Just like the feeders, nest boxes need to be maintained and cleaned ready for next seasons brood. Only do this once the birds have stopped brooding! Boxes can hold flees and other parasites, use boiling water to kill them off and to clean out any droppings. You are legally allowed to remove unhatched eggs between September and January, and then immediately disposed of. Once cleaned and thoroughly dried, you can add some hay to attract birds to roost over the winter; blue tits in particular take advantage of this.
Bundle stems for insect shelter
If you’re pruning roses or cutting back on dying stems, don’t throw them on the compost. Instead, gather up the stems and place them near bushes so insects have a home for winter. Even the branches off your Christmas tree once it’s past its best can be used.
Clear your Leaves
Clear your pathways with any fallen leaves since autumn and keep your natural stone or porcelain paving cleaner as a result for winter. Regular sweeping will remove detritus before it has a chance to accumulate and stain or damage the natural stone paving. As always for porcelain, we recommend simply using a mild detergent to keep the paving clean.