Cutting back your garden, autumn axe or spring shear?

18 September 2018

What's the best approach for cutting back your garden? Seasonal interest is always top of our clients’ requirements in regard to the planting, once the garden has been built. We work closely with our clients to ensure a detailed brief is set. This is agreed with visual boards, sketches and plant lists, all alongside clear planting plans and schedules. Evergreens, hedges and trees always provide the “bones” of the garden. But what about the smaller plants? The lovely flowery perennials and grasses? When collating the planting scheme, we consider how these will look through the winter. Seedheads, hips and strong, structural forms of these smaller plants maintain such beauty and interest through the colder months.

Autumn vs Spring tidy

“Putting the garden to bed” used to be en vogue, chopping everything down neatly in autumn and applying a good blanket of mulch. Mulch still of course is a good idea to keep everything snug. Protecting the more delicates such as dahlia tubers and agapanthus for example, however we believe leaving anything that will look interesting until the spring. Obviously some plants disappear naturally through their regeneration process. You certainly wouldn’t want to leave the “slimey” characters (agapanthus spring to mind again), but there are so many that will provide you with a stunning skeletal quality. The harsh frosts of a cold winter lick these remnants with their icy tongue to leave behind such beauty. If you don’t suffer from OCD and can cope with a little untidiness, leave all alone until the spring. Slight dishevelled appearance of the winter garden will reward you measurably with stunning organic shapes. The stunning interest will continue through the season until new growth appears. Be sure to enjoy the crisp colder months that the winter days bring even if it maybe from the warmth of inside.

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