Use winter light to identify garden hotspots

Gardeners can use the winter months to assess the aesthetics of their garden and make use of the unique light at this time of year to plan their activities for the rest of 2009.

While it may be tempting to work away in the warmth of the greenhouse, gardeners have been advised by the Daily Telegraph that the colder months provide a distinctive type of light that accentuates shapes, tones and textures.

This light, it says, can be used to identify "hot-spots" in the garden that will help maximise the aesthetic value of features such as benches or fountains.

The "subtle and slanting" radiance can be enhanced following a rainstorm and the newspaper advises this is the best time to plan the layout of the garden.

Placing a bench in a hot-spot close to a fragrant plant will create the perfect place from which to enjoy the garden for the rest of the year.

Hotspots can also be identified for wall-climbing plants and the Royal Horticultural Society advises that plants such as Chimonanthus praecox, Abeliophyllum distichum and Jasminum nudifolium grow well when placed next to a sunny, south-facing wall.