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Landscaping in Winter giving you the chills? 

Winter- Ready Homes: 8 Tips for Canterbury Residents

Sure, when its cold and grey outside Landscaping and Gardening is often the last thing on the minds of most homeowners, but this can actually be an ideal time to tackle some outdoor projects. Yes, if you decide to take on a garden renovation between June and August in New Zealand there are a few disadvantages, but also some potential advantages.

Lady in winter garden

Landscaping in Winter Cons: 

1. The project will move more slowly. The days are shorter and wetter, so the job will take a little longer. It’s cold, it’s miserable, and it’s harder to move around and work in heavy clothing and gloves. And sometimes you need to move a little slower just for safety.

2. Sloped or slippery sections are tricky. If your landscape involves a steep slope, parts of it may not be possible to tackle, and the ground can become a ‘bog’ in heavy traffic areas. Lots of coffee cups and extra laundry.

3. There may be more coffee cups on site as you try to stay warm, plus the inevitable damp or muddy layers of clothing will pile up in the laundry. 

But it’s far from all doom and gloom…


Red gumboots digging hole

Landscaping in Winter Pros: 

1. If you’re using outside labour you may get better rates and have the crews full attention since builders and contractors are typically in less demand in the winter months.   

2. Cost effective planting; buying less developed plants are cheaper than more established versions, if they are hardy enough to plant in the cooler months they will have time to assimilate and flourish in their new home.

3. Your project will be ready for spring. As the seasons warm up you get to enjoy every possible minute of your new deck, water feature, or plants. 

4. Many plants go dormant in the winter. This makes them less susceptible to damage or shock while planting. In fact planting or transplanting in the winter is like moving a sleeping child from the car to their bed; potentially easier than the regular routine! Shhh…

5. Getting outdoors. Quite often grey winter days aren’t always very inspiring and it’s quite easy to spend all day indoors, but just chipping away at a winter landscaping project offers a reason to get outside and grab some vitamin D that’s in short supply in the colder months. 

6. Don’t forget the undeniable joy of finally warming up after a day working in the cold with a hot shower or bath and perhaps a well deserved relaxing drink with your feet up. 

Garden with NZ Native plants

Winter Landscaping Projects

While the rain and in some areas snow, can hinder some activities, there are still many landscaping projects you can undertake during winter. These include water features, patios, decks, fencing and repairs, new planting, hedging and more.

Remember that the key to successful winter projects is knowing what to do and when to do it. You wouldn’t pour concrete if there is going to be a freeze within 24-48 hrs and retaining walls may have to wait if the slopes are too wet. But certain plants thrive in cooler months, for example its an ideal time to plant fruit trees or hardy New Zealand natives that can grow up to provide privacy along a fence line or add interest to an empty area (just don’t forget to stake your plants to protect them from the cold winds). 

People planting NZ native trees

Lighten and brighten up

Winter nights are long and cold. It’s no fun stumbling through the dark to your front door after a long day at work, so an instantly rewarding project is installing some light in your garden or along your walkway. This adds an element of safety and will do wonders for your outdoor living space. Well placed landscape lighting may make your garden feel liveable again, even in the dead of winter. 

Speaking of making your outdoor living space more liveable, what brightens up a deck or patio more than a fire pit or an outdoor heating solution? It brings warmth, beauty and fun to otherwise cold and barren outdoor living spaces.  

Lights on the path

Sometimes it’s just too cold to tackle Landscaping projects

If it really is just too miserable to venture outside, why not take the opportunity to design and plan out your Springtime projects to improve your outdoor living? It’s the perfect time to research, dream and ask yourself important questions like: “What would enhance this space for the family?” “Are there bigger ticket items that I should start planning and saving for now?”

Coffee in tree mug

Above all else remember whatever landscaping projects you take on this winter, don’t forget to leave extra time for cleanup at the end of each day, the extra coffee cups and laundry will add up after-all. 

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