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New Year, New Garden?

Urgh. It’s all looking a bit mulchy out there, isn’t it? Your beautifully tended garden from last summer might be reduced to a mess of soggy brown leaves and windswept branches right now, but draw back the curtains and take stock; because now is actually a great time to conduct a review of your little patch of green and figure out what you really want to see when you peer out of the window during winter… and into the next one! Plus, if you’re thinking of bringing in some green-fingered help, you’ll find that the gardeners and landscapers of this world will actually have time for you now, before the phone starts ringing off the hook, come the Spring.

We’ve been chatting with the super-knowledgeable (and friendly…and ve-r-r-ry patient) team at south-Devon based landscaping company Great Scapes and it turns out that, if you box clever, gardens can still be beautiful through the winter, heck, all year round with minimum maintenance and commitment.  Wanna know how? Of course you do.


1/ Put your garden under the spotlight. 

rake and leaves

Just think of your naked garden like a facial; strip back the warpaint and you’ll see which areas need love, where the natural beauty is and those bits that could do with some highlighting.   While everything is looking bare have a think about what you don’t like and what you would like to see. Popping along to some local RHS or National Trust gardens is a nice way to get some ideas or grab a couple of magazines and review with a cuppa in the warm instead [now we’re talking].


2/ Shape up.

Different materials help create shape and interest – Garden created by Great Scapes

A great place to start is thinking about the shapes and materials in your garden because those, after all, will remain whatever the season. Think railway sleepers, slate paving, decking, pebbles and boulders.  These materials can all add colour, texture, height, shape and interest to a garden.

Great scapes shapes before and after

Before & after a curve injection – created by Great Scapes

Who says a square garden has to be square? It can look anything but, using sweeping curves, circles and varying levels to draw your eye to a focal point.


3/ Get on the move.

As well as doing a bit of pruning and tidying, it’s also a good time to start moving around and planting shrubs and trees. And whilst the very thought might make you want to retreat to the living room and flick on Netflix, it’s so worth doing. Get this bit right and you’ll have yourself an evergreen solution, as well as colourful branches that will offer something different for every season.


4/ Make the garden fit your lifestyle.

Great Scapes

Who’s going to be using the space? You, or them?! A before and after from Great Scapes

The main thing to keep at the back of your mind is the way you live your life and how you want the garden to fit into that. Are you into glamorous entertaining, or craving a quiet retreat from the chaos indoors, or maybe you’re looking to throw the kids into a family playground while you observe from the peace and quiet indoors? If you nail down how you want to use your space, a suitable, functional, manageable and attractive garden can be created.


5/ Planting tips to inspire you:

Add colour with low maintenance ever greens like box hedges for a formal, elegant look. Dogwood – Cornus Mid Winter fire, for example – add vibrant colour and warmth through their branches. Popping in some perennials such as winter cyclamen is a nice way to add flowers that offer a lovely surprise when they shoot back up again the following year of their own accord! And Silver Birch will offer interest with an elegant, silver mottled bark.

Great Scapes provides a full garden design and landscaping service, with over 15 year’s experience, having qualified from the English Gardening School, in Chelsea. Find out why we love them in the Little Black Book, or visit 

Find more ideas here


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