As the long summer heat slowly fades into nothing more than a distant warming golden memory. We find the garden slowly changing from bright happy flower heads sitting amongst cool fresh greens into smokey burnt umbers reds and golds, as the trees and shrubs take their precious life giving chlorophyll back into their winter store. This fleeting burst of autumn colour will soon be gone as the cold icy grip of the first winter frosts give everything a somewhat crunchy morning coating.

Now is the time to think about a winter garden maintenance programme. Preparing the garden now will give it the best head start when the sun’s warmth returns in the spring.

Although the grass may have stopped growing and there is no more lawn mowing to be done. It is essential to keep the lawn free from leaves and debris over the winter months. A lawn covered with a blanket of muck can become waterlogged and be in a pretty bad condition by the time the First Cut is due in March.

It is also advisable to remove all furniture and toys from the lawn. this will help prevent bare patches from forming and save a lot of repair work during the spring.

If you’re heading shrubs and trees have not had their final trim of the year then now is a perfect time to get them in shape.

Garden beds are probably starting to look there as the summer annuals and perennials dieback. weeding the beds improving the soil and applying a layer of mulch when will ensure the beds are in ideal condition to receive the first flush of Spring bedding plants.

Although winter will be fully upon us, we do still get those glorious crisp sunny winter days where being out in the garden is still both possible and enjoyable.

In order for your winter garden room to be safe I recommend that all your paving and decking are power washed and treated. Any neglect at this time of year will allow both moss and lichens to flourish making your hard surfaces both sleepy, unsightly and a hazard to anyone you should choose to walk on them whilst they are wet.