Tidying the Garden For Winter
Autumn is upon us again and time to tidy up the garden for winter. Not the most fun of jobs, but come the Spring we will be glad that we took the trouble.
Gardens can never look perfect through the Winter, with leaves blowing about and everything a bit muddy. So it is pointless to aim for the pristine look you achieved in the Summer.
More tender plants are better for a light pruning in the Autumn, then in the Spring cut off any dieback and shape them up. How many times have you cut back a shrub in the Autumn for it to die back over a hard Winter leaving you with a tiny sprig come Spring.
A few piles of twigs or leaves at the back of the borders provide a winter dwelling for small animals and insects to hide. Some berries, nuts or fallen fruit will be a splendid meal during the cold winter months.
In my view all these insect hotels and hedgehog houses are an unnecessary expense. The last time I talked to Mrs Tiggywinkle she said that her favourite winter dwelling is a nice secluded pile of twigs, and if there are a few crunchy insects for a snack on warmer days all the better.
Of course you will have realised the fatal flaw in my argument. If you make a bonfire and leave it for too long before lighting it lots of wildlife will move in to it as winter quarters…… The best thing to do is to pile up a bonfire and light it straight away before you get any visitors.
So don’t overdo the tidying, do the basic cutting hedges, getting leaves off the lawn, pulling up weeds and pruning etc and leave some wildlife habitat around the edges.