As a landscaper, I not only design gardens but I also maintain and develop them. I am constantly at work in them and the winter months are my best time of the year. It is during these months that I do my garden upgrade programme.
Tree and Hedge management:
We do most of our tree management now in order to allow as much winter sunlight through to the garden below. My gardening crews do this by removing the lowest and all the unnecessary mid- level, secondary and downward growing branches. The result is always impressive. Our trees are totally transformed. Suddenly they appear taller and more elegant with a neat and uncluttered canopy.
Re-arranging and Transplanting:
When I want to try something new in the landscape, the gardening crew must first clear the area of the existing plants. These are not always discarded. They can be transplanted to better locations or grouped with other transplants to create a whole new bed installation elsewhere in the garden.
This is the perfect time of year to move plants around. The ground stays moist and the cold temperature means that certain plants will survive their transplant.
By implementing new ideas during these winter months I may spend money on new plants but also save money by being able to relocate existing specimens.
We are busy with division in our nursery and our landscape gardens. All clump-forming herbaceous perennials, including ornamental grasses, benefit from division every two to three years to maintain health and appearance. It also creates additional plants that can be planted elsewhere.
This is the time to get stuck into those dense thickets Agapanthus, Bergenia, Canna, Crocosmia, Dierama, Dietes, Hemerocallis, ornamental grasses, Plectranthus, Salvia, Sedum, Sutera, Verbena, Zantedeschia and other similar plants.
Dig these plants up gently and shake off excess soil so that roots are clearly visible. Some species have individual plants with intertwined roots which can be gently separated and then replanted individually or in small clumps.
The Aloe Family is now in Flower
Large, fibrous-rooted perennials, such as Dietes, can be divided into two or three or even 50, depending on our requirements.
Plant divisions as soon as possible and water them in well. There after the winter rains will take care of the rest.