Protect your garden furniture and plants this winter

Winter-proof your garden to survive the elements 

Although we may not want to think about it, winter will soon be here (and in some respects, did it ever really leave?) and with it will be plenty of rain, frost, sleet, and even snow. During these months it’s easy for your garden to become neglected, but this can come with a whole host of problems in the long run. From the hard work you spent growing plants all summer dying off to your beloved garden furniture succumbing to the elements - and who wants to fork out for brand-new outdoor seating every year? 

Fear not, with a combination of preparation, storage and purchasing quality garden furniture built to last you can protect your outdoor space. Our garden experts at B&Q have put together this comprehensive guide to winter-proof your garden so everything will be ready and waiting for you when the sunshine returns.

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It’s all in the prep

Winter comes around every year, so you have plenty of time and warning to prepare your garden for the harsh weather. There are a number of ways you can prepare your garden furniture:

Protective paint

Although most outdoor furnishings are built to withstand the elements, if you’ve owned something for years and years the effectiveness may decrease. However, a simple lick of exterior paint can not only breathe new life into your garden furniture but most are purposely made to be protective against the weather. For example, weatherproof shed paint will not only strengthen and treat the wood but ensure it will endure any rain, sleet or snow. You can also get paints for metal outdoor furniture, so whether you want to protect your shed, decking or bench, there is a suitable weatherproof paint out there. 

However, it is important to check that your garden furniture can be painted.


Certain ornaments, garden furnishings such as cushions and seasonal items like BBQs can be stored away during periods of bad weather. If you have room in your shed these pieces can simply be put in there, however, if your shed is already pretty-full you may want to consider purchasing garden storage specifically for this purpose. Let’s face it, you won’t be cooking up burgers in December in Britain - no matter how much you may want to…


For large garden furniture or fixtures that cannot be stored away, you can cover them up. You can get garden furniture covers for everything from outdoor seating covers to weather-resistant covers in a variety of shapes and sizes that you can put over anything you require, including BBQs.

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Protecting your garden furniture from heavy rain

In the UK, it’s fair to say that we’re pretty used to rain. However, depending on the materials of your garden furniture, heavy rain can cause a lot of damage. From rust and rot to discolouration, water can quickly become an enemy to your outdoor sanctuary. So, in autumn and winter when we get more rainfall it’s important to ensure your garden furniture is protected.

Water-resistant paint and weatherproof covers mentioned above help protect your outdoor furniture from rain, but there are other things you can do too.

Garden rain shelter

If your outdoor seating is on a patio or decking a lot of people opt for a rain canopy, this can be fixed or temporary. Depending on your budget and space you could get a patio awning (usually attached to the back of your house) that comes over your garden furniture and keeps it dry, these are also useful in the summer months to create shade. You could also get a retractable awning to enjoy the sun when and as you wish. 

For a garden rain shelter on a budget, you could buy a canopy or gazebo - or even make your own! 

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Protecting your garden furniture in strong winds

Winds can pick up during the colder months, which can lead to lighter garden furniture being blown over and damaged or in extreme cases - even flying over your fence! It’s vital to make sure your furniture is secured year-round, but even more so in the extreme weather conditions that winter often brings. 

Often, metal garden furniture is too heavy for the UK winds to disturb, so you needn’t worry. However, if your outdoor setup is lightweight it needs to be anchored down. Stack your chairs to make them heavier and buy furniture weights.  

As a temporary measure, if the country is expected to have high winds or stormy weather, tie your furniture together using bungee chords or rope. 

Protecting your garden in the snow 

Snow protection is similar to rain as they both share the essential component of water. If you know snow is set to fall, bring whatever furniture you can indoors or into storage and cover the rest. 

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Protecting your plants in winter

Inevitably, some plants will not survive the winter due to the conditions not being right for them to grow and others die off to resprout in the warmer months, known as perennial plants. However, there are a number of things you can do to help keep your labour of love alive.


Greenhouses protect your plants and vegetables from the elements as they provide shelter, whilst also maintaining the higher temperatures they need to grow. Depending on space, budget and how many plants you need to protect, there are a number of greenhouses in different sizes and materials. From large wooden fixtures to smaller plastic greenhouses, you can find one to aptly suit your needs.

Move your plants inside

Some plants can be brought inside during the colder months or if you don’t have the space move them to an area of the garden with more shelter. 


Adding a layer of material to your plants helps the soil retain moisture and protects the roots from the elements, particularly the cold.

Always be sure to check for the best way to protect your plants in winter, as some will not benefit from being moved or covered.

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