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Beautiful bark always takes me by surprise at this time of the year. Once the last of the autumn drama queens have thrown down their fiery, leafy cloaks, these hidden gems of the winter garden come to the fore. The watery light from the low winter sun is perfect for drawing out every intricate tone and detail. Whether it is highlighting the radiant beauty of polished mahogany on a birch-bark cherry, or the sinuous patterning found on snake-bark maples. Some peeling barks are tantalising to touch, while others can be marveled at for their sheer complexity. Although I wouldn’t grow a tree purely for its winter bark, it is certainly an important feature to consider - especially in a small garden.

Top Tips:

  • Continue putting food and water out for hungry birds.
  • First job of the year is to recycle your old Christmas Tree by shredding it and using the mulch.
  • If there are any puddles in your lawn, spike them with a fork and allow the water to drain. Repair and reshape lawn edges.
  • Dig over and empty areas that have not already been dug.
  • Time to prune fruit trees such as apple and pear.
  • Plan your vegetable crop rotations ready for the upcoming year.
  • Build nets and cages to cover and protect fruit trees and bushes.
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