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Duration: 30 minutes

Winter has come... harsh frosts have shattered Carol's tulip pots, and her brick paths are ruined. Carol takes shelter in the potting shed and prepares her garlic for spring planting.

On finer days, she begins pruning late-flowering clematis, and when the thaw comes she begins a major re-vamp in the borders.

As the long dark days pass, the first green shoots of the new year appear. First it is snowdrops in ones and twos, and then in drifts, carpeting the woodland floor. These are then followed by jewel-like hellebores.

As winter slides into February, and whilst the trees and shrubs are still in their dormancy, a local woodsman arrives to lay Carol's native hedge.

  • Native hedge – hedge laying

    Native hedge – hedge laying

    Hedgerows provide food and shelter for many mammals, birds and insects. A native ‘species-rich’ hedge in a garden can do much to benefit wildlife. Apart from keeping animals in and marking boundaries, native hedges lend our landscapes their unique identity and can be thousands of years old. 

    Maintenance is vital in sustaining this richness, and the art of hedge laying remains an important rural skill today.


    More on hedge laying

  • Pruning clematis

    Pruning clematis

    Carol’s crab-apple and clematis ‘Huldine’ are supposed to be grown in sweet harmony, but the clematis has taken over. Carol tackles the task of bringing the clematis back into line. 

    Pruning encourages strong new growth and promotes flowering. Flowering time determines the best time to prune. There are three pruning groups to consider; the link below provides more information.


    More on pruning clematis and pruning groups

  • Growing garlic

    Growing garlic

    The Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, is traditionally the time of year for planting out garlic. But Carol never does that; her ground is too heavy and wet. 

    She starts hers off in modules under cover and that way, when planted out in spring, they’re off to a flying start.


    Wikipedia - all about garlic

  • Holly


    A holly tree in winter provides us with berries to deck our halls, but more importantly, it provides nutritious food for wildlife. Carol’s native hedge contains all sorts of native species but not a holly. 

    By collecting a few berries from the hedgerow, stratifying them in a fridge for a couple of weeks to break dormancy, then sowing them into pots should, in a couple of seasons, provide Carol with nice little trees, which she can then plant out into her own native hedge.


    More on planting a native hedge

  • Annie’s garden - rejuvenation

    Annie's garden - rejuvenation

    Sometimes the garden, or a part of the garden, becomes choked and overgrown; lifting and dividing a few plants is not going to sort it – it’s time to roll up your sleeves. 

    Providing the weather is on your side, late winter is a good time to begin a rejuvenation project. Plants are dormant, you can see what you are doing, and the soil can be dug and improved without causing damage to surrounding areas. 

    For Carol, lifting out her herbaceous plants allowed her to divide and rejuvenate many favourite plants; it can also offer the opportunity to reassess ideas about design. So, if it’s freezing outside and you want to get enthusiastic about your garden, the link below will take you to great ideas on gardening styles and design.


    More on garden design


Carol Klein
Executive Producer
Gill Tierney
Executive Producer
Sarah Moors


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