Hints & Tips
If your garden has been hit hard by the recent storms that have affected the UK, you'll probably have some maintenance work to do.
It's worth taking advantage of the lull in the worst conditions to salvage what you can and put in place some damage limitation measures.
Evergreen plants are particularly vulnerable as their leaves catch the wind and this can cause damage, writes Val Broome in the Telegraph.
Make sure you check any evergreens for storm damage and remove any broken branches from affected shrubs. It may be worth removing the tops from conifers once the weather improves.
Roses are easily damaged by strong winds as roots can be lifted out of the ground and exposed. They should be pruned now even if they have not lost their leaves.
Hybrid teas should be taken back a few inches and Floribundas taken down to between 12 and 18 inches (30-45cm). You should generally reduce old-fashioned and shrub roses by a third.
If you need a hand with the pruning process, why not invest in one of our tree pruners? Perfect for those hard-to-reach branches.
Trees should be checked and exposed roots covered. Make sure any debris is removed to prevent further damage and clear away any clumps of leaves that may be sheltering slugs.
It's best not to get too involved with the gardening at this stage, as you don't want to make any damage to waterlogged grass worse. Preparation for spring is probably the best way to occupy your time – even if that seems like a long way off at the moment.
Gardens have been damaged by storms across the country. At Great Comp in Kent, six huge conifers were casualties of the recent gales.
At Great Dixter, a wild pear tree that dated back over a hundred years was lost to the storms and commemorative spoons are being made from its wood.
Let's hope any future storms we suffer aren't quite so severe!