How To Maximise Your Garden For Winter Use

*This is a collaborative post

Gardens shouldn't only be for summer, and there are lots of ways of maximising your use of your outdoor areas even during the colder months. Whether you invest in attractive furniture for your garden in stylish rattan direct from a reliable supplier or whether you aim to encourage winter wildlife to your garden, it's possible to get more out of the outdoors whatever the time of year.

Keep Colour In Your Garden
Although we all take care of the garden during the warmer months of summer and spring, as soon as winter rolls around, it's all too common to allow our outdoor areas to become neglected and ignored. The good news, however, is that it's possible to keep your garden looking colourful and beautiful even during the cold weather as long as you choose the right foliage. Shrubs are able to make patios more appealing, and violas, golden glories and Christmas roses are the ideal plants for these spaces since they come into flower in the winter months.

If low maintenance is your priority, opt for conifers in varying shades and types. Not only does this help to improve your garden's privacy, but it also adds additional colour to the space. Evergreens are also considerably more attractive than bare branches. Colourful pots and window boxes also prove useful for adding extra brightness in winter.

Entertain Family and Friends Outdoors
Even if the weather is cold, it's still possible to enjoy entertaining friends and family in your garden when you install a firepit or brazier. Nothing is quite so wonderful as wrapping yourself up warmly then going outdoors to toast marshmallows over a roaring fire on a cold and crisp winter's evening. Although barbecue huts are fairly expensive, they represent a fantastic investment for those who regularly entertain, and give you the flexibility of grilling outdoors throughout the year.

Investing in a patio heater is another great way of making an outdoor space winter-friendly. With both electric and gas version available, they're ideal for anyone who wants to sit outdoors whatever the weather. Check out Globo Surf for a great guide to the best patio heaters.

Durable rattan garden furniture which is constructed from resilient and strong materials such as rattan, will ensure that entertaining outdoors in winter is a breeze. Rattan may be easy to care for, but it is incredibly stylish, and since it is weather-resistant there is no need to bring it inside, allowing it to be left on the patio all year long. An appealing sofa set with a matching table is a great investment, while a rattan dining table and chairs brings additional versatility.

Colour and Light
Perhaps you would rather enjoy the beauty of nature from inside your home? It's still possible to create a stunning display to enjoy from the comfort of your conservatory by hanging fairy lights up in the trees and adding solar lights strategically around the garden. There's no easier way of turning a garden into a winter wonderland. Decorating outdoor spaces with lights isn't only for Christmas – lanterns and lamps on the patio will continue to look beautiful even after the holiday season. Why not switch things up and treat yourself to a new conservatory to really embrace the chillier season? Edwardian conservatories are a very popular choice!

Attract the Wildlife
Whether you prefer to sit outside or inside, attracting wildlife into the garden during the winter is one of the best ways to maximise the use of your outdoor spaces. Setting up bird feeders in trees or installing a bird bath or table will help hungry birds in the lean months while providing yourself with some natural entertainment.

You could also consider adding a log pile feature in one corner of the garden. Frogs, toads and insects are drawn to the natural shelter supplied by the wood, and this means you'll be helping the environment.

Grow Winter Vegetables
While most flowers die in the winter, lots of varieties of vegetables continue to thrive at this time of year, and are ripe for harvesting. Root vegetables such as parsnips, or greens such as kale and winter cabbage are perfect for harvesting during winter, while rhubarb, garlic and raspberries can all be planted ready for harvesting in the new year.

Growing Indoors
When the weather grows too cold to grow plants outside, it's still possible to have all of the pleasure of cultivating vegetables and flowers in the greenhouse. It's well worth investing in this type of indoor space if you love gardening since it enables you to enjoy your favourite pastime outdoors without getting cold. Many types of plants can be grown in a greenhouse, so whether you prefer to cultivate roses or tomatoes, you can enjoy stunning colour whatever the time of year.

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