Winter gardening

book coverAs the morning chill creeps up on us my garden has passed what I call its jungle phase and is moving into a gentle, mildew-sprinkled decline. I love how much its landscape changes through the seasons. Soon it will be mid-winter, when the bones of the garden are exposed – save for a few clumps of hardy brassicas, beets and emerging spikes of garlic.

There’s a wealth of information about spring and summer gardening available, but many gardeners struggle with maintaining a year-round garden. It’s too late to plant many things from seed now but you can still sow broad beans and peas. Garlic cloves can go in a couple of months either side of the traditional midwinter planting time and you can still get away with some seedling punnets of winter vegetables.

The exposed winter paths and beds also turn my thoughts to landscaping and planning the plantings for the next spring and summer. I’ve got a wee (read: enormous) list of tasks in mind, in between curling up by the fire with a few good winter recipe books. Maybe I’ll let the library come to me and spend a wet day or two browsing the Gale Gardening, Landscape and Horticulture Collection on my home computer, available via The Source.

What do you like about your garden in winter? What are your inspirational winter gardening reads?