We all need to wrap up well in the winter and protect ourselves from the cold and wet - and the same is true for many of our plants! I don’t believe really cold mornings are good for anyone or anything!

In Scotland, it is not entirely the frost we need to protect our cherished plants from - it is more the wet! The rain gets in to the plant at this time of year, then the cold comes in and freezes the water – that is where most of the damage comes from.

Plants that originate from warmer climates, bay laurels for instance, are obviously more tender plants and therefore, if possible, the best thing to do is take them inside over the winter if you can, whereas deciduous plants that lose their leaves with the season are generally robust enough for the cold.

Herbaceous plants and shrubs can do with a little help and I suggest you cover the crown of your plants with some multi-purpose compost which should keep them from being exposed to the worst of the weather.

I often pass gardens where people have wrapped up cordylines and the like in frost fleeces from November to February, but this will not do your plant any good. The wet still gets in and the covering actually traps the cold and wet in instead of keeping it out - and that means that the plant rots. It would be much better to move the plant closer to a building, offering some shelter from the rain instead.

We do need to check that our plants are protected from the Scottish winters but it is far more important to check our elderly friends, neighbours and relatives are too!

Happy gardening everyone!


Why not take the opportunity to freshen up your winter bedding and containers with some spectacular winter pansies.

Due to their sturdiness, winter flowering pansies will flower for much of the winter when planted now – make a big impact by planting them close together. They will also give a great show in early spring as the temperatures start to warm up.