As any seasoned gardener knows, your garden can change dramatically depending on the season and the weather. It could be a particularly chilly winter, or a long, hot summer — whatever the season, your plants will react. So much so that it can seem like an uphill battle to keep your garden looking well-presented all year round. In order to help you achieve this balance, we’ve created this guide of which plants are best suited to each season.
Oftentimes, the winter months are seen as the hardest time to keep your garden looking good, but it’s certainly not impossible. In fact, good planning can help your winter garden look beautiful with little effort. However, although your lawn may not need cutting as often as there is less sunshine, it’s still important that you care for it, mainly so you prevent issues such as lawn frostbite.
Frozen lawns can make your garden ‘heave up’. This is due to an excess of water. Snow can also cause the fungal disease named snow mould. Usually, the main culprit for this is the pesky snow men. Although fun to make as a family, the density of snow can kill your grass. Make sure you’re clearing excess snow as soon as possible to give your space the chance to thrive as much as possible.
Of all the seasons, spring is a gardener’s best friend. The winter frost is thawing and there’s beginning to be some activity among crops and shrubs. Just as you do in the home, your garden needs a spring clean. You should check for signs of unwanted growth and prep your beds, removing all the debris from your winter collection. If you didn’t prune in the winter, now is the time to do so, but make sure you do so before the buds break into bloom or you’ll run the risk of stressing the tree and getting very little crop.
This season will bring a fantastic array of colours to your garden, but don’t be tempted to let your gardening schedule slip. Plant some summer-blooming shrubs and allow your garden to continue thriving into the next season. A great example includes the Bluebeard shrub. This bloomer is easy to upkeep and isn’t phased if we get a drought. It’ll also bring birds and butterflies to your space to add a lovely wildlife image for you to bask in. If blue isn’t for you, try the Butterfly bush in its purple, pink or white representation. Growing up to 10-feet tall, this beauty offers a longer bloom season than lilacs and may well run past summer and into autumn too.
For many, summer is the season for entertaining in the garden. As summer starts to break through you might look to spruce up your garden by adding some new decking boards or lawn edging, or maybe you’ve already got those and want to add some new outdoor furniture so you can soak up that lovely sun. However, to make it a space you’re proud of can take a bit more effort than that. With your grass growing at a speed far faster than any other season, it’s crucial you keep on top of its growth spurts. While it’s recommended that you keep it slightly longer during the summer months, it’s still advised that you mow your lawn a couple of times a week, unless there’s a harsh drought period where one cut a week will suffice.
Weeds can also rear their heads a lot more during the summer. Make sure you are eradicating any weed issues as often they are competing with your lawn for moisture and, sadly, weeds often come out on top, leaving your lawn looking less than ideal.
Want to have some colour set up for autumn? July is a great time to plant your autumn flowering bulbs, such as nerines. This can help you to continue having a brilliant floral display for the coming months.
Autumn is the sister to spring in that it is highly important to gardeners. This is because it’s a great time of year for undergoing transplanting work due to the moisture levels of the soil caused by regular showers. Due to the summer warmth, spring bulbs and next summer’s bulbs should be planted by the end of September to allow them to adjust to their new surroundings and grow their roots. This will set them in the perfect position to bloom next year once the frost thaws.
This is also the perfect season to get ready for the winter. You must make sure that you cut your grass for the last few times before the cold kicks in. When doing this, you should lower the height of your lawnmower by a notch or two. Excessively long grass can cause problems in your garden throughout the colder climes, and it doesn’t look appealing either. However, don’t scalp your grass as this can expose it to more extreme conditions.
Balance the amount of fertiliser you’re using, as you don’t want to burn the grass. You can also spread a cool-weather grass seed to make sure it stays in good condition despite the icy weather. Remember, just because you won’t need to tend to it as often as in warmer climes, it’s important that you don’t leave any debris or toys on the lawn as this can create disease conditions, or worse still, invite unwanted pests to your garden.
This season is certainly the best time to prepare. You’ll need to pick plants of a good size due to the fact they’ll grow very little in winter. Good examples include the Bergenia, which is also known as elephant ear. With varying shade of pink, red and purple, this flower should bloom and brighten up your garden in the year’s earlier months. As the name suggests, snowdrops, or Galanthus nivalis, or another good pick for a bit of brightness in January and February. If you would like a bronze purple colour added to your garden between November and March, try planting some clematis cirrhosa var. balearica.
And that’s all there is to it! Follow the steps above and you’ll be well on the way to having an attractive and well-presented garden space all year round. Remember, gardening requires a lot of pro-active methods, so don’t leave it too long. Think ahead of the seasons and your patch will prosper!