Grove Russell-Allen, Head Gardener at Warner Leisure Hotels’ Littlecote House in Berkshire reveals his top 10 winter gardening jobs.
Whether you’re a green-fingered expert or just beginning to dip your toe into the horticultural world; all gardeners face the challenge of keeping their once glorious summer gardens looking just as good during the winter months. The ever-changing face of the UK winter always proves a challenge for even avid gardeners but never fear, Grove Russell-Allen, Head Gardener at Warner Leisure Hotels’ Littlecote House in Berkshire is here to help.
Grove shares with us his top 10 gardening jobs ideal for the winter months:
- Winter is the perfect time for servicing any tools ready for the summer months. So fix that lawnmower and sharpen that fork in the colder downtime.
- The colder months are also the best time to look after your lawns. So take a look at your edges and lay any new turf from late January onwards.
- Get planting, bare root stock including hedges and roses will bed in well if planted during the winter months
- Now’s the perfect time to plan your all important vegetable patch by ordering your seeds and planning your space. You can also get a head start by planting peas and broad beans in covered pots – but watch out for pesky mice in rural areas as they love them!
- Give some love and care to your fences and structures, mend any areas and remove dead climbing material.
- All perennials and borders can be completely cut back by the end of February ready for summer re-growth.
- Ensure all paths are weed, lichens and moss free by clearing during the winter months.
- Care for any trees in the garden, especially mature trees by lifting the canopy and removing any dead wood.
- Go the extra mile for any wildlife that may rely on you – top up bird feeders and refill water ensuring it hasn’t frozen overnight.
- Lastly (wrap up!) sit back, relax and enjoy your beautiful garden…
What happens at Warner
With 13 country and coastal properties around the UK, some with up to 160 acres of land, the job of Head Gardener at a Warner property is definitely a large undertaking. With guests enjoying the wonderful grounds and gardens year round there is never a dull moment for Head Gardeners and their Teams especially during the crucial winter months.
Grove gives us an overview of what happens during what people assume are the quieter colder months: “I’m often asked what we do in winter, followed by; it must be quiet! When in actual fact it’s our busiest time! It’s the perfect opportunity to have a really good tidy up and plan for the coming year – and with 113 acres to tend to and our own gardening shop, this can take some time. Winter is also a great time to look back on the year and evaluate what worked well and what hasn’t been so successful, but most importantly it’s the time of year to enjoy the birds coming to the feeders, the colours of the barks, winter flowers and the evergreens.”