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How to Plan a Winter Border
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Even if your natural instincts are telling you to hibernate, there are plenty of plants that produce colourful effects in winter. When you plan any planting, think about plant form and foliage colour first. And don't forget colourful stems, too. It's easy to get diverted by flower colour, but for good seasonal effects look at how, when, and where plants deliver colour and interest. In winter, seedheads not only look great left on grasses and some other herbaceous plants but also provide food for birds and other wildlife. Topiary shapes really come into their own in winter. Think about plants in terms of their height - aim for interest at each level - tall, middle, low and ground. Even in small gardens, make more impact with seasonal planting by grouping it in borders or areas rather than having it dotted about your garden. This workshop shows you what winter has to offer your garden. You may want to put winter borders or corners where they can be appreciated from the warmth of inside! The following other Workshops will be helpful. How to plant and stake a tree, How to plant a shrub, How to plant a bulb in earth, How to plant a bulb in grass, How to plant a climber, How to move a tree or shrub, How to plant a container, How to do a container with mixed planting, How to do simple topiary, How to take advantage of microclimates.
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you will need
Space in your garden or a border; winter interest plants of all types; spade; fork; trowel; Optional: bark, cocoa shells or gravel to mulch the area.
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step1
Prepare the area. You may want to regroup some existing plants. Move the plants out that produce effects in later seasons. Make a sketch of the effect you are trying to create with your plants. If you need to, move the remaining plants to new positions. Plan your planting.
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Start at the back of the border or area and move forward. Plant any climbers, trees and large shrubs first. This will establish a backbone for your new winter border. Water each individual plant in as you plant it. Then move on to filling in the spaces with medium range plants and lower growing plants. Underplant low growing herbaceous plants with groups of winter flowering bulbs. Remember to label these so that you can remember what's where.
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step3
When you have finished, water the whole border well. Then add a 5 cm layer of decorative bark mulch or cocoa shells to the area. This will really help to show off your winter interest plants to good effect.
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step4
Go to the Superstore for some suggestions of different things to plant from large trees to small bulbs, or you could check out our plant database.
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The plants that perform in winter are limited in number
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Many are shrubs that you should plant first
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Others are small early flowering bulbs
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   Disguising eyesores        Ensuring year-round interest
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   Gardening on a roof top        Lighting in your garden
   Making a cottage garden        Making a family garden
   Making a rock garden        Making a wildlife garden
   Making a woodland garden        Plan a garden from scratch
   Planning a spring border        Planning a summer border
   Planning a winter border        Planning an autumn border
   Revamp an overgrown garden        Revamping a Patio
   Shaping a lawn        Simple topiary
   Using colour in your garden        Using exotic plants
   Using microclimates        Using objects in borders
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