Cold weather is no excuse for staying indoors. Here are 5 ways to enjoy your garden this winter
1. Outdoor cooking
2. Light it up for dramatic evening time views
4. Prepare to grow your own fruit, vegetable and herbs
5. Plant a tree
Cooking outdoors in the winter
Who cares if it’s cold outside? Outdoor food tastes fantastic all year round. From something as simple as roasting marshmallows by the firepit to cooking the Sunday roast, on the barbecue, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t pull on your coat and your chef’s hat for some extreme catering.
What to cook outdoors in winter. If you haven’t yet treated yourself to an outdoor kitchen, you’ll be surprised at what you can cook on a simple barbecue. You’re definitely not limited to sausages and burgers!
Why not invest in a pizza stone? They’re easy to use and will lend your home-made pizza’s a delicious smoky quality that you just don’t get in a conventional oven. Find out more here
Looking for something simple to cook. If you have children, they’ll enjoy helping you to collect wood, build a fire, and roast marshmallows. Please don’t pick up sticks from woodland, fields, or hedgerows without the owner’s permission though. If like me, you don’t own a fire pit, you might be able to find enough stuff in your shed to build an alter fire. Think hard about where you’ll position it – you don’t want to damage any garden structures – and always have a bucket of water on hand, just in case. Fire is by far one of the best ways to enjoy your garden this winter!
Brave the weather, light a fire, and enjoy your garden this winter
Light your garden for fabulous evening time views
You don’t have to wait for Christmas to have fun with garden lighting. Uplighting a bare tree can create a stunningly beautiful feature. Or what about using some festoon lights or fairy lights to illuminate your journey around the garden. Why not experiment with coloured lights, or consider installing ground level soffit lights into your patio? Don’t forget that you will need a suitably qualified electrician if you are using anything other than a simple plug or solar-powered lights.
Take your Home Schooling out of doors
Fresh air is good for children. If it’s cold outside, wrap up warm and keep sessions short and active. Here are some ideas for garden-based homeschooling that will encourage the youngsters to enjoy your garden this winter.
- Go on a bug hunt – see if you can find out how critters spend their winter
- Make some birdseed cakes and see how many different species come to feast on them
- Collect spent seedheads and stalks and turn them into art
- Give the children a list of things to find in the garden and send them on a scavenger hunt
- Do some outdoor cooking
- Gather different materials and discover how much water they absorb (compare the dry weight with saturated weight. Older children might enjoy measuring runoff rates too)
- Winter Olympics – how many active games can you play out of doors? Maybe build an obstacle course?
Get ready for a productive spring and summer
Prepare your garden and order seeds and plants in winter for a bountiful harvest next summer
Now is the time to prepare the soil for growing your own fruit and vegetables next year. My favorite method is to build raised beds and fill them with nutritious soil ready to receive seeds and plants in spring.
Look for onion sets in the garden centre – these can be planted during the colder months and will give you a good supply of kitchen staples.
Also in January and February, you can be planting currant bushes and raspberry canes, and even strawberry plants. Try, if you can to build a protective “cage” around them to keep the birds from stealing the ripe fruit in summer.
Need help designing and building a productive garden? Call Geoff at Manor Landscapes to discover how your plot could be transformed into a stylish mini-allotment.
Plant a tree
Global statistics show that 2020 broke some of the records for the warmest year. Now, more than ever, we need to be planting trees to help combat climate change.
Even the smallest garden can benefit from additional trees. You might choose a fruit tree to supply you with spring beauty, summer shade, and autumn fruit. Or perhaps you prefer the dramatic stems of a slimline silver birch? A favourite trick of Manor Landscapes is to create a raised hedge using pleached trees. They barely take up any space in the garden, yet they provide extra privacy and marvellous wildlife habitat.
Finally – as an extra, garden-related activity, why not have a think about how you would like to be using your garden next spring and summer. Especially if you will be working from home or self-isolating because of the COVID pandemic.
Do you need to make any changes to the layout or the features in your garden? Manor Landscapes specialise in garden makeovers throughout the Guildford area. Call us today to discuss your garden design ideas.