The winter arrived, somewhat tentative but for good. Yesterday it snowed with the large and fluffy kind of flakes which form when the air is still warm.

At least the garden is ready: the flower beds are mostly cleared of leaves, the bulbs are in the ground, the trellisses and the pots are cleaned and stored. Believe it or not, if the spirit moves you to spend time in the garden despite the cold, you might still find some stuff to do.

Winterize

Empty and store water hoses, mulch the perennials to give them some extra warmth during winter.

Protect the cold tender roses by burying them (yes, that is an actual technique, especially for tree roses - they need to be dug up, laid flat in a trench and buried until spring. That’s why I never got a tree rose), or by mounding earth to cover their graft buds so you don’t end up with a garden full of rootstock after a harsh winter.

Bunch winter hardy potted plants together to offer them some extra protection from the cold. Store the empty clay pots, they’ll crack at the first frost. Dig up and store the tender bulbs.

Prune

The dormant period is the best time to prune trees and shrubs. I prefer to prune my roses in spring, but it can be done now. Take root and hardwood cuttings to start in cold frames.

Care for the lawn

Clear the leaves, mow if appropriate, continue the lawn maintenance program for feeding and weed prevention. Spike to aerate if you have heavy clay soil.

Care for the wildlife

Clean and refill bird feeders and hang up suet cakes for extra energy.

Plant

If the dirt is not frozen there is still time to plant bulbs, shrubs and trees.

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”; "The Plant - A Steampunk Story"; "Letters to Lelia"; "Fair"; "Door Number Eight"; "A Year and A Day"; "Möbius' Code"; "Between Mirrors"; "The Blue Rose Manuscript"
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: allyeargarden.com and theweeklygardener.com, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.