Top tips for protecting garden plants across the winter Top tips for protecting garden plants across the winter

‘Tis the season of wrapping up warm when leaving the house, defrosting cars before travelling and lighting fires to keep away the chill on long, winter nights. Although we take great pains to keep ourselves cosy over the colder months, often gardens are forgotten.

It’s important to protect plants as temperatures drop to help protect them and ensure they survive a colder snap. This process is called overwintering, but, what is overwintering, why is it so important and what’s the best way to do it? Rob Grayson, Head of Plant Distribution at leading plant experts, Hillier, explains and shares his top tips for caring for gardens over winter.

And the advice comes from the very best; Hillier is the most successful exhibitor in the history of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, having been awarded 74 consecutive gold medals. The company was founded in 1864 by Edwin Hillier and remains a family-run nursery with the fifth generation now actively involved in the family business as it continues to grow. The company employs over 750 staff across its nursery, amenity trees and 22 garden centre divisions, and grows over one million plants a year. It is the largest tree grower in the UK.

What is overwintering?

“Overwintering is all about giving plants extra protection from frosts and the cold, giving them the best chance of success to keep snug over frosty months and help them to thrive in the new year. This could mean protecting tender plants such as ferns or palms with horticultural fleece (available on a roll, or in different-sized “jackets”) in situ, or could mean bringing some of your plants into a greenhouse or conservatory. A cloche or coldframe can also be useful for tender plants in your borders.”

Catalogue and plan

“Each plant has its own

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