Give borders a boost now

A bit of winter tidying up will help you get ahead for spring.

Border maintenance - main pic.jpg

Before winter really sets in, it’s a good idea to get out in the garden and start working in the borders. This not only makes the garden look better, some plants will benefit from a little attention now and it also helps you get ahead for next spring when there are a thousand and one jobs to do in the garden.

It’s good to start tidying the borders while the ground conditions are still good, rather than when soggy or frozen. Now that the autumn leaf drop is over for another year it’s a good opportunity to go through the border and clear away thick layers of leaves that could smother small or low growing perennials. If the leaves are left on these plants over winter they will rot, causing harm to the plants below.

You can also start cutting back some old perennial flower stems. Any that have decorative seed heads can be left for winter interest, but where stems are already starting to collapse, they can be cut back to ground level. Dead foliage on evergreen perennials such as bergenia can be picked off to freshen up the plants and generally work through the border tidying, trimming and removing weeds.