Expert tips on getting your garden in shape this winter

Don't let the frost keep you out of the garden

Don't let the frost keep you out of the garden - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A local expert is urging Hertfordshire residents to maximise their garden’s potential despite the current cold climate.

Kate Gould

Kate Gould - Credit: Archant

Radlett-based Kate Gould says: “Just because it’s still winter, it doesn’t mean there is nothing to be done in the garden.

“Wait for a good bright sunny day, pull on a warm jacket and get out in the fresh air to cut back any perennials you have left standing out over winter.

“You can also lift and divide any that are overgrown or that you want to place elsewhere in the garden, give them a good feed and then mulch well to get them off to a great start when the weather warms up.”

Another necessary task for January/February, according to the award-winning garden design guru, is to prune your late flowering clematis.

She recommends taking them back to a pair of strong buds around 20cm from ground level. And don’t touch any early flowerers like Montana – they flower on last year’s growth, so if you cut them back now you will lose the flowers this year.

And if you still have any energy after all the drinking, partying and marathon telly watching of Christmas, you can give your irrigation an overhaul while the beds are emptier and you can see better.

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Kate adds: “At this time, you can see the wood for the trees, so to speak! Start by removing the caps at the end and flush through to remove any grit or sediment that may be blocking the spray heads. Check for any leaks or damaged pipes and repair or replace as needed.”

For more information about the garden design, planning and landscaping services Kate provides, visit or email: