As another busy summer season for landscapers and garden designers draws to a close, the days shorten and our gardens lose much of their vibrant summer colour. Most people understandably begin to turn a blind eye to what’s outside the window at this time of year. However, whilst the winter season brings with it bleak weather conditions (and even bleaker working conditions for those of us with outside jobs) but this shouldn’t put a stop to all garden activity until spring returns.
The great thing about the winter is that although you’ll naturally spend less time out in your garden, this does make it the ideal time to book in work to ready it for the new year, without the impact this would normally have on your outdoor lifestyle were you to wait for the spring. Work may appear messier thanks to rain, snow, sleet and the effect these have on the ground conditions, but by the time you want to be out enjoying your garden again in the sunshine this will all be forgotten, and we landscapers are more versatile than you may think! (We’re also waterproof, windproof and have actually chosen a career that means getting cold and muddy in the winter…)
Instead of focusing on the restrictive nature of winter I like to think of it as a period of preparation. For instance, we can carry out hard landscaping work all year round and the season makes no difference to the end result. The major advantage of getting stuck in at this time of year is that come the planting season everyone wants to be back in their gardens, and by completing any structural work before then you can indulge in the more enjoyable aspects of having a garden, with no cement mixers or JCBs invading your summer afternoons!
You will be rewarded for this forward thinking in other ways too, for example your soil will be in better condition as you won’t be tearing it up when you should be planting. Mulching is a good idea after any winter time hard landscaping as a good mulch provides nutrients for plants, locks in moisture, forms a barrier against weeds and can help to insulate the roots of vulnerable plants from winter cold.
I would encourage all our clients, past, present and future, to consider using the winter for design and layout work. After all it’s the dormant season meaning there is no rush for instant results. By designing the garden’s basic skeleton during this period you’re giving yourself additional time to think through all the details carefully and make more informed decisions, which can make all the difference and help you to create a really attractive, new look for your garden.
With our specialist, in-house designers Arbworx looks set to take on a lot of consultation and design work this winter and, unlike the mad rush of summer we can devote more of our time to working through all the finer details with our customers. For us, having the opportunity to work on these projects from the initial consultation and design phase right through to the build and installation stages, there is less chance of the confusion or miscommunication problems which can occur when a design is passed from one designer to a different contractor. Keeping those involved with the build ‘in the picture’ throughout the whole project guarantees a much smoother process than could otherwise be the case.