January Garden Planning
January garden planning… may not be the first thought that comes into your mind when you look out onto your frosty garden. But hear us out!
Now that the trees are bare, the foliage has died away for the winter, and it’s all looking a bit bare, you can really see the structure of your garden. The shapes of your hard landscaping, the outlines of trees and shrubs, the condition of garden structures… even the natural flow through the garden. All are revealed when the planting has died back for the winter months. So it’s the perfect time to assess the shapes and structures of your garden and plan for the year ahead.
In this blog post, we'll delve into some of the landscape design considerations you can be making during January.
Garden structure and layout
Now that the planting has died back for the winter, January allows us to really see the structure of the garden. Use this time to assess the layout of your space.
- Flow and accessibility: Take note of the flow through your garden. Are there natural pathways that guide visitors from one area to another? Remind yourself how you and you’re your household use the garden and check that the flow and access work for everyone. Ensure accessibility is maintained, especially during the winter when certain areas may be prone to icy patches.
- Focal points: Identify focal points within your garden – these can be sculptures, eye-catching plants, or strategically placed seating. Perhaps even views across and out of your garden that you want to frame. In your planning, ensure these focal points are visible and enhance the overall design, even in the subdued winter landscape. Then get creative, and consider introducing new focal points that fit with your garden's theme and purpose.
Hard landscaping elements are the bones of your garden. They provide structure and define the overall aesthetic. Condition is important too. As you stroll through your garden, evaluate the state of pathways, patios, and any other constructed features.
- Pathways: Begin with the pathways through your garden. Are they free of cracks and uneven surfaces? Winter freeze-then-thaw cycles can exacerbate any existing issues, so it's crucial to address any damage promptly. Consider upgrading to permeable materials that enhance drainage, preventing water accumulation and potential hazards.
- Patios: Your outdoor living spaces may have weathered the elements, but now is the time to ensure they're ready for spring gatherings. Clean and inspect patio surfaces, checking for any signs of erosion or damage. You might even want to consider adding outdoor heaters or fire pits to extend the usability of your space during the colder months.
- Arches, arbours and pergolas: Arches, arbours, pergolas and other structural features contribute to the visual appeal of your garden. Assess their stability, condition and appearance. Winter can be harsh on wooden structures, so a fresh coat of weather-resistant sealant might be in order. Additionally, explore the possibility of adding new elements that complement your garden's theme and offer interest during the winter months.
Outdoor lighting is not just about visibility and safety– it's a design element that can transform your garden, even in the depths of winter. Take advantage of the quiet evenings to plan and install lighting that will highlight your garden's beauty year-round. Whether you prefer the soft glow of string lights or the sophistication of pathway lanterns, thoughtful illumination will add to your winter garden, bringing much-needed interest at this time of year.
Now comes the fun bit! It’s time to plan your seasonal planting! Plan the planting areas with a mixture of spring bulbs, summer perennials, and winter-interest plants. Some strategic planning now will ensure a continuous display of colour and interest throughout the year. Use winter as a time to visualise the potential of your garden and plan upcoming planting accordingly. Then go ahead and order seeds and plants, from the comfort of your armchair!
While the chilly temperatures might make you want to stay indoors, we’re encouraging you to brave the cold and explore the dormant beauty that lies beneath the frost. Walking around your garden for a while is not only good for your health and mindset, but may generate new ideas. And at the very least, remind you of the warmer, sunnier months to come.
As you embark on this winter garden adventure, remember that our team at Ayegardening are here to help you turn your vision into reality. Contact us for personalised advice, and professional maintenance services, or to discuss your upcoming landscaping projects. Together, let's create a garden that gives interest, colour and inspiration for every season.
If you’ve come up with some ideas for your garden, give us a call for a friendly chat and let us help you bring them to life!