Aah winter—when the pace of work in the garden slows to a walk, instead of the spring and summer race between the gardener and the weeds! Or deadheading! Or pruning! Or several other commanding needs.
Now is the opportunity to think about the garden somewhat dispassionately and decide which plants were satisfying, which need to replaced, and whether or not there are accessories to add to enhance it. The garden or the gardener deserves a Christmas present, or if the budget allows, one for each.
Things to consider for the gardener.
A new pair of pruners – Felco brand is the standard of excellence and they come in both left and right handed versions. What a luxury. A pair designed to cut well with the preferred hand.
Another cutting implement is a pruning saw. A folding one that cuts on the pull stroke is ideal. It can be tucked in a pocket, so it is at hand when the pruning clippers aren’t sturdy enough. Even something as practical as a new hose can be enjoyed, along with a nozzle with a range of spray patterns.
Thinking about the garden itself.
Is there a place where a new tree would be enjoyed? Would it be for shade? For color? For fruit? What a delightful problem — making a decision about variety and placement. Winter is a good time to plant a tree. Does the garden need a bench for contemplation? Somewhere to rest and savor the results of planting and weeding. Or perhaps one of the gazing balls on a pedestal would catch an eye and provide a reason to linger. Now is also the time to create a plan for any additional plants. Many can be introduced on those days that are crisp and inviting for being outside. There is time now to think also about vegetables and what varieties should be where, and order seeds, and be ready to buy young plants as the weather warms.
So if you have put your garden to sleep and think you won’t need to go out until spring, think again. You can find satisfying things to do even in the middle of the short days, and be prepared as they lengthen toward spring.