Winter is well and truly here – which means that it’s time to get cracking on some of those garden jobs. You might not be pitching any deckchairs out there anytime soon, but your outdoor space still needs a bit of looking after over the darker, chillier months if you want to get back to enjoying it promptly when the sun comes out! Of course, your Indian sandstone paving is one of the elements that will need a bit of attention – here’s our quick roundup of some of the most important tasks to do alongside that!
Prune and deadhead trees and shrubs
There’s no better time to prune and deadhead your plants than in the depths of winter. It gives you a good opportunity to remove dead or damaged branches, promoting healthy growth in the coming season, and the general conditions in winter mean you don’t have to worry too much about any negative impact on the appearance of the garden. (Let’s be honest, it rarely looks at its best at this time of year anyway!)
There are a couple of other major benefits to doing this in winter too: plants and trees that have been pruned in winter are less prone to disease later in the year. And tree branches that are already dead can be significantly weakened by strong winds in winter, potentially causing a health and safety risk if they become weakened enough to fall – so it can be smart to take them down in advance.
Clear leaves and debris from your garden
Autumn leaves are truly beautiful when they’re glowing in all their amber glory on the trees, or crunching underfoot as you make your way along public footpaths – but when they’re damp and gathering on the ground in your garden, they rightly tend to lose a bit of their magic. Wet leaves that have accumulated near your fence posts, for example, can cause moisture to seep into the wood, which can accelerate the rot.
That same broad process can be to blame for them damaging your Indian sandstone paving, too. Natural stone is porous, so when wet leaves are allowed to rest on it for too long, the moisture from them can start to seep into the stone, which can leave ugly stains and marks.
To avoid that, the best thing is to simply sweep them away. For complete peace of mind, one of the best things to do is to put them onto a sheet for easy removal, and then once it’s full, you can just bring the corners and put them together, then put the entire thing in either your bin or your compost heap. (A leaf blower is something else to consider!)
Secure your boundaries
At this time of year, garden boundaries (like your fences) are particularly prone to wind damage, so to save yourself a headache later on, it’s a good idea to do a quick inspection of your fence panels. Keep a particular eye out for any that are broken, loose, or damaged in a way that might make them vulnerable to wind. If so, it’s a good idea to repair or replace them ASAP. Missing or damaged fence panels can make your fence look ugly (and less secure), and even worse, the panels themselves can sometimes become dangerous missiles.
While you’re there, it’s also worth checking the stability of your fence posts, as obviously those can be a big influence on the overall integrity of your fence. In winter the ground tends to get softer due to heavier rainfall, so you’ll need to ensure that the fence posts remain solid and sturdy even despite that.
Clean your patio and decking (if applicable)
Let’s be honest, even with the best of intentions most of us tend to use our decking less in winter – no matter how many blankets, outdoor furniture and fire pits we might consider. And if it’s left unattended for long enough, decking can quickly start to become covered in green moss, which can be a major slipping hazard.
You’ve got various options for cleaning it off – there are some chemical cleaners available, whereas other people swear by a mixture of water, vinegar and baking soda. Personally here at Bridge Street Stone, we’ll leave you to exercise your best judgement. If you decide to use a pressure washer though, just go easy with the setting – it’s annoyingly easy to end up gouging the wood or composite.
As for cleaning and maintaining your Indian sandstone paving, we’ve already produced an entire guide on maintaining your stone patio, so you might find that helpful! The main points involve sweeping it (as we’ve touched on above), and making sure it’s properly sealed and that it has sufficient drainage. You can find more details in the attached post!
On the other hand, if you’ve already got a couple of stained or damaged stones that you’re looking to replace – or you simply fancy a change – that’s exactly where we can help here at Bridge Street Stone. We offer a wide range of riven and sawn sandstone that comes in various shades and colours, such as Kota Black, Kandla Grey, Raj Green, and Golden Leaf. If you want to give your garden a winter-proof makeover, get in touch with our experts today by calling us on 01282 860571. We'll be more than happy to assist you!