RHS: protect vulnerable plants over winter

With winter approaching and all the distractions of the Christmas period that come with it, it can be all too easy to retreat indoors and forget about the garden.

But taking care of plants over winter will make things much easier when the nicer weather returns.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) says that, while plants situated next to a wall will get some protection, most would benefit from spending the winter in a protected environment such as a greenhouse.

Woody plants such as Callistemon and Pittosporum that are exposed also need protection and the RHS advises using a rigid frame could offer some benefit.

Using about a six centimetre mulch of leaf-litter or bark on outdoor plants will also help protect the roots from frost. Any evergreen plants should be treated in this way to ensure they continue to grow over winter.

Young plants that arent as hardy as their more established cousins should be moved under glass and cared for throughout the cold weather to ensure they are in tip-top condition come spring time.

A greenhouse is also a good place to keep up the gardening hobby over the winter without being exposed to the elements yourself.