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Hands edit James Finley
By Annabelle Padwick

One positive thing about the recent lockdown and pandemic events, is that many people have ventured in to their gardens – got their hands in the soil for perhaps the first time, experienced the feeling of hope which seeds can bring and seen the rewards of their nurturing hard work.

Gardening has become a new grounding activity for many over the last six months and something that gives us positivity, purpose and accomplishment.

This may not be a surprise to some, considering that in times of crisis, our relatives also naturally resorted to the ground. Our bodies naturally need it!

But now with even more changes coming at us along with darker days, we need to remember that the garden is still there for us.

Although the garden is relaxing, recovering and recharging itself for next spring, the colder, frosty days still have so much to give

Annabelle

There is a misconception that come autumn, the garden begins to close until spring and there isn’t anything the garden can offer us during this time.

But, although the garden is relaxing, recovering and recharging itself for next spring, the colder, frosty days still have so much to give. Kicking crisp autumn leaves up in the air always gives me a smile and so do many other upcoming activities in the garden.

I wanted to share a few of my favourite pick-me-up winter gardening activities for you to perhaps try at home. These give me hope, excitement, as well as something to do during a cosy night indoors.

Tulips and bottles
Bring colour to your garden next spring by planting tulip bulbs
  • Plant flowering bulbs, such as alliums, tulips and daffodils.
  • Collect fallen leaves (once you have thoroughly enjoyed kicking them up in the air), bag them up and store them for a year until you have wonderful mulch for your beds.
  • Plant garlic and onion sets.
  • Grab some seed catalogues, a pen and start circling with excitement. What would you like to grow next year?
Garlic
Homegrown garlic is hard to beat
  • Learn from your garden and use the time to relax, recover and recharge yourself. The garden is our greatest teacher.
  • Think about what changes you may want to make to your garden or how you garden to make it even more enjoyable next year. Perhaps new plants, more seating, different paths or more suitable tools?
  • Collect seeds from decaying plants, let them dry out inside, then store in a labelled envelope.
  • Take time to sit with a cuppa and notice the changes in the leaves, the soil, the colours and the frosted beauty that only this time gives us. I personally love autumn for this very reason!
Bug hotel1
Help insect life in your garden by building a bug hotel
  • Wrap up warm and build a bug hotel or a hedgehog den. Everyone needs a cosy home!
  • Make your own potato stamps and decorate brown paper for your own homemade, festive wrapping paper. I still remember doing this at primary school and loved it

I hope this gives you a few ideas and encourages you to brave the cold and feel the wellbeing boost.

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