Winter gardening tips from the RHS

Garden and greenhouse enthusiasts have been inundating the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Advisory Service helpline with calls asking how to protect plants from the snow and ice.

The organisation has responded by publishing a list of tips on its website on how to avoid damage as a result of the big freeze.

These included shaking the snow from the branches of evergreens and conifers to help stop their shape becoming warped.

Bird baths should also be insulated with bubble wrap around the base and the water changed regularly to stop them freezing over.

Plant pots and containers should be moved next to the wall of the house or into the porch to give them some shelter from the snow and heat from the building.

Taking precautions such as these can help protect gardens from the harsh conditions that are currently enveloping the UK, explained RHS advisor Jenny Bowden.

"With a bit of care and attention during this inclement weather people can avoid having to replace valuable plants, trees and shrubs," she said.

The snow is not just causing problems for gardeners; there has also been havoc on the roads and a number of sporting events have been cancelled as a result.