Please join us in welcoming our special guest blogger, Caro Sanders of Caro Garden Design. Caro’s expert garden advice will help you make the most of your property whether you live in it or let it out.  

Over the coming months, Caro will be doing a regular series of blog posts to help you make the most of your garden.  

This month’s tips are particularly great for buyers who may be planning on moving into a new home soon or landlords who want to make their property look more appealing to potential tenants.  

By guest blogger:  Caro Sanders

It’s that time of year when we’re trying to think skinny – diets and wallets both – so here’s a great way to save money in the garden.

When is the best time to plant?

“When is the best time to plant?” is one of the most frequent questions we get asked.  Well, if you’re putting in a plant that you bought in a plastic pot from the garden centre, the right answer is any time. Unless the ground is frozen or we’re in the middle of a heat wave (I wish!).

BUT here’s a trade secret…

If you want to save your pennies, the absolute best time to plant is NOW.  Or at least by end of March.  Because during winter you can buy bare root plants.   These are sold without any soil around them, so they are cheap to transport and cheap to buy.  You plant them while they are dormant (not growing).  When spring comes along they start into growth and are just as vigorous as container grown plants, if not more so.

Not all plants are sold as bare roots – the main ones you’ll find are deciduous trees and hedging plants (ones that lose their leaves over winter), and roses.

Evergreen hedges such as yew and box are sold as rootballed – they have their soil wrapped around the roots with hessian, and you can plant the whole root ball in the ground.  Again these are much cheaper than the container grown equivalents and can only be planted over the winter season.

Hedges make a lovely soft edge to the garden, either planted in front of or instead of a wooden or metal fence, and provide a great store of resources for birds and other wildlife.

As a rule of thumb you will save between up to 50% of the cost of a plant when you buy and plant in the winter. For small hedging plants the saving is even greater.  So if you were planning on making a new hedge or popping in a tree or two, or weaving a few roses into the borders, or even framing the front doorway with a glorious rose arch – don’t put it off, do it now!

Word of warning – don’t try to plant if the ground is actually frozen or waterlogged, store in a cool frost free place (shed or garage) then plant as soon as conditions improve.

Where to buy: 

– try renowned Keepers Nursery for fruit and nut trees

Ashridge  Nursery for fruit and ornamental trees

Hedging –  Hedging plants direct

English Woodland

Roses – David Austin

Peter Beales

Caro sanders-7085s square
Caro Sanders is an Ealing based Garden Designer

For more hints and tips, or a personal garden consultation, please contact Caro Sanders, owner of Caro Garden Design, a landscape design practice established over ten years ago in Northfields.

Who is Caro?

Caro is a garden designer based in West London who loves helping home owners in London and the Home Counties transform their gardens from ugly ducklings into beautiful swans.  She can turn her critical eye on any patch of land and offer helpful advice to potential sellers as well as new buyers wanting to make the garden their own.  Trained in Garden Design at Capel Manor College, she creates gardens little and large, and believes that everyone is entitled to a great view, ideally from their own doorstep.



Tel:  020 8566 3750



Twitter: @carogarden 

Thanks Caro for your excellent tips for using the winter months to plant a garden more inexpensively.  Remember if you have any questions, feel free to ask Caro via Twitter or ask us any of your property related questions via Twitter @Northfieldslive.