Cornwall LivingIssue #127

Spring into action

Although thoughts are only just moving to autumn, Oltco is already turning its focus toward spring.

Down in the garden, colours may be turning to earthy russets and gorgeous ochres, preceding the falling swansong of a polarised summer, but as the leaves are being shed it may be worth looking further ahead, and here’s why. As Kris Evans (Oltco’s Sales Support Manager) explains: “Spring and summer gardens are made in the winter, so it’s important not to neglect them over the colder months,” he advises. “Get pruning, as winter is actually the best time to do this and removing any dead leaves and branches helps get your plants in a better state for spring growth.” 

Check old plant supports and garden furniture for decay, mouldy netting and broken pots, and replace where necessary. Leaves and other detritus can be raked and gathered for composting. And perhaps one of the most important things to do at this time of year is to put food out for the birds. They require high-energy (high-fat) foods during the cold winter months to maintain their fat reserves to survive the cold nights, so use only good-quality food and scraps. Establish a feeding routine as birds will become used to it and time their visits to your garden in line with this. It’s also a good time to engage in some garden reconfiguration. 

All gardeners make their mistakes on paper and not on the soil, so get your pencil and paper out (or fire up the CAD system on your computer) and get drawing. Perhaps a new path could be introduced or an old decaying one replaced with something that is yet to show its age. Think about planting around these walkways with bedding plants such as pansies, primroses and polyanthus. Some of your favourite spring bulbs can also be introduced during the winter, so once the warmer weather arrives your garden will be teaming with colour again.

If you’re feeling more ambitious, now’s the time to lay down that outdoor summer dining area that you’ve dreamed of for so long. Opting for a resin bound or Recycle Bound patio, or pathway for that matter, means you won’t need to worry about spending hours maintaining it, as its porous and permeable properties help to minimise weed growth and puddle staining. So, think outside of winter’s confining box and be prepared!