Adding interest to your Winter Garden
It’s getting cold and it’s time to think about what you can do in your garden during the winter.
If it hasn’t snowed yet this year it might be nice to add some colour to the garden. Fresh new terracotta pots alongside some patterned or coloured pots are wonderful for adding something extra to your outdoor space.
Using winter plants you can create an area full of great winter beauties, some of the top winter warmers are listed below:
Winter-flowering pansies – Place in a sun spot or partly shaded area
Poinsettia – Plant in filtered light area with little breeze
Paperwhite Narcissus – Simply pot and water for best results
Galanthus Elwesii – Blooming in January, plant in partial shade immediately after purchase
Hellebore (Christmas Roses) – partial shade and well-drained soil planting areas
Remember to jazz up your garden seating areas using lights, candles and some strategically placed logs!
Birds are continuously looking for extra food and water supplies in the winter months as food may be scarce and water frozen. You can winterise your bird bath/pond and also hang a bird feeder to assist them in the cold.
Here are a few tips for keeping the ice at bay this winter.
- Boil that kettle – Add some hot water to your bird bath after you have made your morning tea! This should help thaw any ice that has formed and leave some water available to the birds for drinking.
- Kids toys – Throw in a light ball, this will be moved around by the smallest of breezes and should help prevent ice from forming (at least while there is a breeze) For ponds use a small light football, this will leave a hole in the ice – Remove the football during the day and place it back in the evening.
- Solar Sipper – This product actually uses solar energy to heat and insulate the bird bath, keeping it warm in winter and cool in summer. Have a peek on google for more information on the Solar Sipper and similar products.
- Rearrange – Move the bird bath to the part of the garden that has the most hours of sun.
- DO NOT USE CHEMICALS (anti-freeze agents): These can be harmful to the bird or its feathers.
- Remember bird houses are also a great way to provide extra warmth in the winter!
DIY Ice-free solution!
Using tarpaulin or simply an old compost bag, line the inside of your bird bath and remember to double up. When the ice forms on top lift the top layer out of the bird bath to remove all water and ice! Place it back and refill! How easy!
Feeding the birds draws them closer and helps them feed in the winter. Remember that birds should not be provided with left overs as a lot of these foods can harm them.
Black oil sunflower seeds are the most preferred bird feed and the best for all seasons, They hold more nutrients and calories needed as well as being easier for birds to eat.
Peanuts and Suet are really good sources of fat for birds and as they don’t freeze tend be a preferred bird food in winter, as well as attracting different types of birds to your garden.
Suet is usually put in mesh or cages to help the birds cling and peck and consists of animal fat and is high in calories. You can add your own seed mix when preparing the feed; this will provide more nutrients needed.
Peanuts can be put out in specified peanut bird feeders, although you can leave them on bird feeding tables, some larger birds will take the peanut whole whereas the smaller birds will prefer them in smaller segments.
Image 1 Poinsettia
Image 2 Birdbath