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The Winter Garden Border with Amanda Brame

What to be doing in your garden in the early winter months
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Pruning and tidying
Cut back any untidy looking plants in your border, but leave seed heads and grasses as they can still look beautiful at this time of year. While you are tidying these up, note any changes you might want to make next Spring.
Divide perennials. The general rule is that you should prune those that flower before midsummer’s day now, and leave until spring those that flower in late summer and autumn.
Prune roses. Cut off most of the year’s growth and take out large woody stems.
Deadhead pansies, violas and primulas regularly to keep the flowers coming.
Cut peonies back to promote healthy growth next spring.
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Preparing for Winter

Remove fallen leaves from around the base of plants to prevent slugs and snails overwintering and make compost in leaf bags to use as soil conditioner next year.

If the frosts have blackened your dahlia plants, now is the time to lift and store them over winter in a shed or garage.

Protect tender perennials with a mulch of compost.

Tie in any climbing plants so they are not damaged by high winds.

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Look ahead to Spring

Plant bare-root roses, trees and shrubs.

Plant tulips and other spring bulbs if you haven’t already, keeping a few back to pop into containers topped with pretty violas. Place them where you can watch them grow.

Move any established shrubs or trees when they are dormant. Prepare the new position well before lifting and try to take as much root ball as you can. Firm in well and keep watered.