The South West London Gardener

5 Cold-Weather Garden Ideas to Enjoy this Winter

robin in a winter garden

As the nights draw in and your luscious green lawn quickly turns into a frosty, white festive scene, it can be tempting to draw the curtains, crank up the heating, and forget about the weather.

Gardens can go neglected at this time of year, but they don’t need to be.

Here at The Southwest London Gardener, we think gardens should be enjoyed throughout the year, and that’s why we’ve come up with this handy guide on how you can enjoy your outside space this winter.

Let’s take a look.

1. Embrace Evergreens

The winter is a far from ideal time for most plants and flowers.

With freezing weather, heavy snowfall, and blustery winds, your greeneries can find it hard to cope.

But there are some species that don’t just survive in this weather, but actually thrive.

Evergreen plants and shrubs are tough all year round, meaning that no matter what time of the year you look into your back garden, there will always be some nature.

The aptly named wintercreeper is a great plant to embrace the colder seasons, or if you’re looking for a burst of colour, why not go for rhododendrons or gardenias to bring a touch of brightness to them dark nights.

2. Keep Things Cosy when Outside

When the weather turns cold, socialising or relaxing outside isn’t quite as fun as it once was.

The cold drinks and suncream are firmly put away for another year and the gloves, scarves, hats, and flasks of coffee come out.

Just because it is colder though, doesn’t mean a garden can’t be a nice place to be.

There are some features that can make cold winter nights even more enjoyable than long summer ones as you make the most of a cosy setting.

Why not add some seating under a shelter? Add some rugs and blankets to keep warm and enjoy a spot of serenity in your outside space.

If you have a pergola set up, is there a way you can cover it to avoid getting wet? If so, you have yourself a ready-made shelter right there.

If you’re still feeling chilly, adding a log burner or a patio burner is a great choice to warm yourselves up and add a really nice touch to your garden that is sure to quickly come a great spot for socialising.

3. Enjoy a Garden Room

Between January and May last year, the sales of garden rooms went up a whopping 500%.

Largely fuelled by the post-covid emergence of remote working, garden rooms have quickly sprouted up in many gardens across the nation.

There are plenty of reasons for this. They add space to your home, increase value, and most importantly for this blog, add a warm and cosy place to enjoy the winter.

While a garden room can be costly, it does add a lovely way of getting outside in the winter. If you’re lucky enough to have heating and good insulation, this can feel just as cosy as being inside, but will feel completely different.

The possibilities of what you do with yours are endless. Whether you’re looking to use it as a snug, a garden office, a gym, a bar, and more.

If you want to know more about this great feature, check out our garden room guide here.

4. Welcome some Winter Wildlife

There’s nothing better when sitting in a garden to be surprised by a little critter paying you a visit.

If you love spotting birds, rabbits, squirrels, or even if you’re an insect lover, there is plenty of opportunity to find these in your outside space even in winter.

In fact, if you follow some of these tips, your garden may be a real hotspot for wildlife activity.

There are some lovely animals to look out for in winter, including the robin (twice voted Britain’s best bird) and the aforementioned squirrel.

There are two things these animals are often looking for. Food and shelter.

Shelter can be anything from a bird box to a pile of twigs that can help provide a bit of warmth on a frosty night. By laying out food such as nuts, food waste, and bird seed, you are providing animals with nutrients and energy that can be hard to come by, meaning they’re more than likely to come back for more.

5. Feel Festive

Winter is a time packed full of special occasions.

And of course, there’s one big one that stands out.

Christmas means many different things to different people, but there are some things that are seen across most houses in December.

Wreaths, holly, mistletoe, fairylights, tinsel, even ‘Santa, please stop here’ signs are all seen up and down the nation, and you can embrace the festivity in your garden as well.

Add some decoration to your garden to turn it into a joyful Christmas scene, if you’re lucky, you may even be blessed with a white Christmas to top it all off.

One thing to remember is that many decorations may be plastic or harmful to the environment so when Christmas is over, make sure to do a good clean up and pack everything away ready for next year.

6. Light Things Up

There’s no getting past it, winter is a dark month.

With minimal hours of sunlight it can be tough to really enjoy your garden unless you light it up.

There are many ways you can add lighting you your garden.

Whether you’re looking to light up a footpath, place some fairy lights around a seated area, or just get an outside light on your home that will keep your whole garden lit, there are many benefits to this.

Firstly, you can stay outside for longer which is always a big plus, but it also adds a really nice feature to your garden. Wrapping fairy lights around a pergola or a tree are a great way of adding another element to an already prominent feature.

Adding lights can also make your garden feel bigger and will further create a cosy setting to relax or socialise in.

7. Don’t Neglect Your Tidying

And finally, this may not seem as fun as the other suggestion, but winter is a messy time for gardens.

Leaves blowing off trees, heavy rain making things muddy, and twigs dropping from the trees all can make a garden feel pretty clustered.

If you’re looking to enjoy your garden, it’s important you keep it clean.

This may involve getting out there with a rake and scooping up the leaves, trimming your plants and removing any dead ones, and removing of all green waste properly (why not look at adding it to your compost heap.

A garden can be kept clean and well maintained throughout winter, it just may have to be more regular and may take slightly longer than in the summer.

So strap on them boots, put your thickest coat on, and get tidying.

Let The Southwest London Gardener Get Your Garden Winter Ready

As we’ve said throughout the blog, gardens are there to be enjoyed all year round, and hopefully these tips will help you to do just that.

If you need a helping hand though, get in touch with our team who would be more than happy to come down and make your garden the perfect outside setting this winter.