While most of your time will be spent in the garden during the summer months, a Perth winter isn’t as extreme as other places around the world so you can still get enjoyment from your garden in the colder months. Sometimes autumn will stretch longer than usual or spring will come earlier, so even though technically winter is June – August, you can often get more time outside than you might think.
How do you plan a garden that will still look good during the colder winter months?
Maximise sunlight hours and exposure:
- Deciduous (which shed its leaves annually) trees and vines are great for providing shade in the summer, and then with their bare branches in winter, allowing the light to get through.
- Add paving – this gives warmth by soaking up the sun during the day, as well as providing a safe dry and solid place for outdoor activities
- Plant with the lower position of the sun during winter months in mind – making sure that lawns and gardens are planned well so they will receive enough sunlight.
Plan ahead when choosing plants:
- Roses and tropical foliage are dormant during winter months, so this will result in them looking less attractive.
- Remember that deciduous trees will shed so if they were planted as a screen, won’t be able to hide that ugly fence or poorly-designed hardscaping once their limbs are bare.
- Use evergreens such as palms, ferns, shrubs, succulents and ground-covers to balance out the bare deciduous trees. Plant winter flowering plants around them for added green during summer, then enjoy their flowers in wintertime.
Winter flowering plants:
Shrubs – azaleas, camellias, lavender, rosemary, bird of paradise, Geraldton wax
Annuals – violas, alyssum, pansies, cinerarias, Iceland poppies and primulas
Natives – wattles, grevilleas, banksias, eucalypts, kangaroo paws and hakeas
Trees – butterfly tree, Indian flame tree, Judas tree, Acacias; baileyana
Deciduous Trees (for letting in light):
Plane tree, birch, Chinese elm, Frangipani, flowering plum, Chinese tallow, Robinia
Good and bad news for winter garden maintenance…
Winter means less watering of plants and mowing of lawns as everything goes dormant and hopefully is being watered by Mother Nature. However, the weeds will flourish so no slacking off in that department or your lovely winter garden will be over-run before you know it.
Winter to early spring is maintenance time for a lot of your plants, so when planning your initial garden design, take into account how much maintenance you are prepared to do and choose plants accordingly! If you plan your holidays around escaping Perth for the winter, you will need to account for hiring a good gardener to maintain in your absence so you can return to a happy and healthy garden.
If you have roses, they will need pruning while dormant to ensure they are healthy and ready to flower come spring. In Perth, the best times for pruning is anytime from June – mid-August.
Your lawn will be dormant so should require no fertilising during winter but, although you need to mow less, don’t stop altogether as those weeds will be anything but dormant.
In summary; when using a thoughtfully planned garden design, your outdoors can offer year-round enjoyment! Let your designer know to plan for both winter and summer use and you won’t be disappointed!
Need some help?
If you need advice or help with your planning and design talk to us at Perth Landscaping, our experts can assist with anything from garden design to install – so give us a call!