Preparing your garden for Winter
Today there’s a slight chill in the air and my lockdown tan has faded. Autumn is here; Winter is coming. These are the clues that prompt me to schedule time to tackle the annual jobs around the house and garden that are best started before the inevitable dark mornings and cold evenings steal my motivation to work outside.
Whilst I am not much of a gardener, curating the treasures found in my garden causes me to draw several parallels with decluttering and organising. This outdoor room needs regular maintenance to ensure it stays clutter free; mowing the lawn feels a lot like running the hoover over; pruning provides space for new opportunities and gazing at a tidy garden helps me relax and unwind.
Here are 3 project areas you can tackle now in your garden so you are free to enjoy this outdoor space during the Winter months without the distraction of unfinished jobs:
1. Clear out
Autumn is a great time to tidy up storage areas such as sheds, garages and outdoor boxes. If you’ve not used something for the last few seasons such as outdoor games, tools or supplies, it may be time to book a trip to the tip or the charity shop. Dealing quickly with a split paddling pool or broken shovel allows you to start back fresh in the Spring.
There are some great ways to donate things you no longer want from your garden. Tools with a mission (www.twam.uk) are a charity who accept old tools for refurbishment to send to developing countries whilst The Bike Project (www.thebikeproject.co.uk) gift refurbished bikes to refugees in the UK.
Remember that paint and chemical products will need careful disposal - check your council website for guidelines.
Make the most of the cooler weather to do any shifting and lifting you may have put off during the hotter weather. Shelves can be organised by grouping similar things together and storing them in clear lidded plastic boxes to stack and protect your things from the elements. Plastic drawers also work well outside and can be labelled for easy access to your supplies such as bird food, gloves, secateurs and twine.
2. Put away
With your storage areas sorted and organised, you can start putting away anything that needs protecting or tidying away.
Pots can be cleaned out, washed, dried and stacked ready for the spring or planted up with Winter colour. Tools can be hung on nails or hooks to keep them from rusting - you may even like to invest in a peg board or unit designed specifically for tool storage. Garden furniture can be wiped down and packed away or stacked neatly to one side - cushions and blankets can be washed and stored indoors to prevent mould.
3. Clean and protect
Jet washing patios and decks helps the garden look inviting and finished - even if you don’t get out much to enjoy them. The BBQ can be cleaned and covered and any accessories such as utensils and coals boxed up for the shed. You may want to paint or mend any structures to protect them from extreme weather and save you money in the long run. If you have a greenhouse, you may want to clean the windows so they let in as much light as possible over the darker months. You may even want to send your lawn mower for a service so it’s ready for that first cut in the Spring.
Once the last of the light evenings have been used for preparing the garden, create a to do list of any jobs you didn’t manage to finish or plan to tackle once Spring welcomes you back outdoors again.
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