Autumn/Winter Gardens, plants & green landscapes are good for you!
Increasing research results indicate that gardening is good for you, plants improve your local environment & greenery improves your health and wellbeing.
Whether you live in an apartment, or a house, whether you own or rent, plants, gardens & gardening should be part of your everyday activities.
Many gardens lose their colour as winter approaches. This doesn’t need to be the case. Plants that ‘burn’ with colour as the leaves fall is a must in gardens. Japanese Maples are a prime example. Evergreens, particularly those with splashes of yellow or gold will glow in the winter sun. Hollies, Euonymus, Choisya, & Eleagnus are great examples & are all easy to grow. Berried plants such as Skimmia Reevsiana glow in autumn & winter.
Fashionably late flowers
Fashionably late flowers such as Rudbeckia, Kaffir Lily, Nerines, Fuchsias & Penstemons flower right up into November & increasingly beyond. In late December, the Witch Hazels come into flower & soon afterwards Snowdrops & Crocus burst though. Winter flowering pansies also break the seasonal rules by flowering in pots & planters.
Heuchera gives low growing colour contrasts, Grasses give burnished texture, & the occasional upright small pine or fir gives shape & form to a border. The secret to great winter interest is to plant a ‘focal point’ in front of your main winter views and then make them stand out. The view from the kitchen, your lounge, or as you arrive at your home are going to be seen regularly during the winter months. Make them colourful. Plant form, colour & interest can reduce stress levels by slowing you down & giving you a place to focus.
Autumn planting? Yes!
Autumn is natures natural time for planting but we’ve forgotten about it. Since we tend to be nation that doesn’t mind being outside if its warm and the days are longer once the late September arrives and it rains more often the garden is closed even if it’s just in our minds. Understandable really.
However, since our soils have been baked all summer the are very warm and amazingly any harden plant you plant will start growing new roots and continue to until mid December. This is actually really good for the plants. It means that when they have to face the drying winds of April and the baking summer sun they already have a head start on any planting you do in spring because their roots are already dirty and deep.
Autumn planted hardy garden plants settling into warm soils are also going to receive natural watering as the season advances due to increasing frequency of rain. It saves you needing to drag your watering can around the garden too. A thorough watering in at first is definitely a good idea. It washes the soils into the roots too. The cooler weather is not conducive to insect pests either so plants aren’t likely to be eaten then either.
Fresh Air Filters
Garden plants also ‘filter’ diesel particulates, collect dust, & reduce noise & are ideal for front gardens. As the particles settle, leaves trap them until it rains when they are washed off. Indoor plants filter nasty manmade chemicals associated with fabrics, furniture, cleaning products & paints. The simple Ivy will completely filter chemical s out of the atmosphere in hours. A whole range of everyday plants such as Spider plants, Weeping Figs, & Gerberas all filter your air in your home. Grow plants in every room.
Regular gardening tasks such as raking the leaves up, mowing the lawn & digging are all good forms of exercise & being outside after a cooped-up week makes you feel better. Just dress for the weather. Getting children involved too. Being outside helps with exercise, natural interest, fresh air & family fun. Create a bird feeding station together & thick about nectar-bearing plants for next year. Plant berrying plants for colour & natural bird food.
All in all your garden is good for you.