Remember those balmy afternoons spent relaxing in the garden?
Those care-free days spent carrying out gardening tasks and making the most of your outdoor furniture feels a very long time ago.
In fact, now that the colder weather is upon us, the motivation to spend any time out there is basically zero.
With this in mind, Tiger Sheds has surveyed the nation to find out their winter garden habits, and it was revealed that 2 in 5 (40 per cent) of Brits will basically just leave it and any outdoor buildings to the mercy of the weather.
On top of this, 52 per cent end up abandoning their gardens during the winter months. Nearly 1 in 10 (9%) have said they don't see the point of carrying out any tasks, primarily because they think their plants are going to die regardless.
The frosty weather drives the majority of us inside, discouraging all but the hardiest of gardeners (4%) - in fact, dipping temperatures was treated as the number one reason for not spending time on outdoor chores during winter (67%).
The main reasons people gave for not gardening during winter are:
1. It's too cold to be spending time outdoors (67%)
2. There's no reward - flowers and leaves will not be coming through until spring (31%)
3. Time won’t be spent outdoors during the winter to make it worthwhile (25%)
4. Slippery surfaces (20%)
At the end of the day, abandoning our gardens as it gets colder may seem inevitable - however, the experts at Tiger Sheds have come up with four tips to allow homeowners to do their bit to help their outdoor areas survive the frosty weather to come.
1. Protect your garden buildings
Weatherproofing your buildings prior to the cold weather hitting will certainly help to reduce the risk of rot. Another way to protect your outdoor building is simply giving it a coat of paint. Not only will it provide your garden with a new lease of life, but it also ensures your buildings get extra protection.
2. Don’t give up on your plants
Don't give up on them just yet! By leaving your plants in a warm and dry setting, they're on the first step to surviving. If possible, move your plants indoors to ensure they stay out of the cold and rain - if, for whatever reason, you can’t, you can instead try to keep them near fences and other sheltered areas. A protective overnight cover could also be an ally to protect them from any frosts.
The next step is to group potted plants together and wrapping them in bubble wrap. This ensures they remain warm and stops them freezing or getting blown over during bleaker conditions. Another good idea is to keep plants in pots with drainage holes, as it ensures excess moisture will drain away should there be heavy rainfall.
3. Store your furniture
This one is simple - if you leave your furniture out, you're asking for it to get damaged. Therefore, store it away! While it has been designed to be outside, wet weather can still leave furniture susceptible to damage.
4. Maintaining appearances
Over half of the nation (52%) typically forgets to look after their gardens as winter takes over. It’s understandable – the thought of being out in the cold is far from the most enticing of prospects. However, taking the time to look after your garden can actually make a big difference. The key here is to keep trimming problematic branches back, as it limits the chances of damage that the harsher weather causes.
And, while it will probably not be your first thought, winter can also have a severe impact on your lawn. You should therefore do your bit to look after it. For instance, clear up your dead leaves, as it ends up preventing grass from getting the sunlight and water needed to thrive. Another good idea will be fertilizing your lawn. It restores nutrients that can end up lost from frosty weather.
Commenting on the results, Jack Sutcliffe from Tiger Sheds said: "Understandably, it can be easy to ignore your garden in the winter, but it’s important to look after it throughout the colder months to ensure your green space bounces right back once spring comes along."
"These tips are easy to follow yet can go a long way in protecting your garden from the cold British winter and ensure all the time, effort and money spent taking care of your garden in spring/summer wasn’t in vain."