Keeping Warm In The Winter Garden

Working in the garden in the winter months can be a miserable experience but is also necessary, whether you have a tiny garden in Surbiton or a massive allotment in Yorkshire.Hot chocolate with my the best friend taste amazing

It goes without saying that keeping warm is essential for health and happiness, and it’s fairly easy to work out that your primary way of doing that is by wearing the right clobber.

Generally speaking, layers are good, and keeping the air circulating around your body as you move enables it to warm up with you, as long as you don’t wear so much you can’t bend or move freely.

Try to wear fabrics that are breathable if you can, even your outer layers which really should be both waterproof and windproof. Fabrics like Gore-Tex, used in Ski-ing gloves for example, let perspiration out but don’t let the rain in.

For the ultimate in winter clothing you could go all ‘James Bond’ and invest in heated clothing. Yes, it does exist. Rechargeable battery powered, these garments will keep you seriously toasty, even if your plot is halfway up a Tibetan mountain.

You can get gloves, gilets, trousers…everything in fact, to warm far more than the cockles of your heart. There are many types and manufacturers but I like these chaps https://w
 who make a number of items worn by serious sports people including skiers.

Good boots or shoes are essential. Wars have been lost partly due to the inability of infantry boots to keep out the wet and the cold so don’t let your winter gardening attempts meet their Waterloo because you tried wearing an old pair of crocs to do your digging in the middle of January.

Modern good-quality wellies are far warmer than they used to be, and can be combined with ski-socks or warm socks with sock liners. Good lace up walking boots would also be ideal!

A hat is always de-rigueur. And don’t be thinking of style here, a neat little trilby is never going to keep your ears warm. You need a woolly hat. I have a great one, which comes right down over my ears and is made of an insulated, thermal material called Thinsulate. This type of hat is not expensive and will certainly do the job.

You can also get gloves, fingerless gloves and mittens in the same material. It is very easy to work in and very warm indeed.

Gloves. Yes, while we are talking about it, yes… gloves are another essential. If you are working with power equipment the combination of vibration and cold can be very damaging to your hands so try a good pair of tough and protective working gloves or gardening gloves with a pair of thinner, thermal liner gloves underneath. Skiers, again often use these, and in fact I used to have a pair, which came in very handy, both for the actual rushing downhill situation and for sitting at the top of the mountain with a brandy afterwards.

Moving on from clothing, let’s not forget that hot food and hot drinks, taken on a regular basis will also give you warmth and comfort. Hot tea, coffee and hot soup is easy to transport and easy to drink from a thermos flask and there are a number of affordable food containers around these days that will keep all kinds of food hot from stew to risotto. Check these out… hot lunch boxes.

Another important way to keep the cold at bay is to keep moving. Obviously if you’re gardening that is going to be reasonably easy but don’t be tempted to stop still for too long. Switch jobs and positions regularly to keep blood circulation going.

To sum up, the main thing to remember is that even if it doesn’t seem that cold you are not tucked away in your home or in a warmed up suburban street. You are in the great outdoors and after a while, mark my words, you will feel the cold so make sure you wrap up warm, eat hot food, drink hot tea, move around and look after yourself and then even in the winter you will…

Enjoy your garden

Drew Hardy




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