Following the Government’s announcement asking everyone to stay at home, we’re making some changes to the way we work to make sure we’re looking after our people and our customers. We’re setting up as many of our colleagues as possible to work from home, but this will take a few days.
In the short-term, we’re only accepting new business online. That means new customers can’t buy insurance over the phone.
Existing customers: Please don’t phone unless it’s absolutely necessary.
We need to prioritise:
- Customers who have an urgent claim, for example your car is undrivable following an accident, you are injured, or your home is uninhabitable.
- Customers who can’t pay now as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, call us - we want to help you.
If you have questions about your renewal or want to make a change to your policy, you can use our virtual assistant. If your policy is due to renew in the next week and you haven’t opted for auto-renewal, please call us. If you have opted for auto-renewal, please make sure your insurance still meets your needs.
For more information and frequently asked questions about COVID-19, go to our Coronavirus help and support page.
Plants to make your garden glow this winter
With a bit of forward planning, your garden can look as colourful and attractive in winter as it does during the rest of the year. Here’s how…
Without enough love, gardens can look a bit desolate in winter – stripped of colour and greenery. But with a bit of planning, there’s plenty you can do to make your garden as attractive in winter as it is during the rest of the year.
Finding the right plants for your winter garden may mean looking beyond your typical border choices. But the good news is that the plants which thrive during the winter months are often scented and more shade tolerant – giving extra richness to your garden without requiring excessive care.
What’s more, some of them are adaptable to life in containers, so you can change the centre of attention according to the season. And with the new sights and scents of these prized plants, your winter garden will come into a life of its own.
Choosing your garden plants
Remember that the height of a plant may vary depending on its conditions – and that shrubs may take years to reach their final height. So when positioning shrubs, consider their eventual size. It’s also wise to plan your plants so they’ll flower at different times, making sure your garden looks great throughout the season.
Scented shrubs: Abeliophyllum distichum produces fragrant white flowers in February and grows to a height of two metres, while Hamamelis × intermedia has scented yellow or orange flowers between December and March and can be up to three metres tall.
Evergreens: Arbutus unedo AGM flowers are white or tinged pink, and bloom between October and December – with a maximum height of around six metres. Elaeagnus pungens ‘Maculata’ (v) AGM offers small, silvery white flowers between October and January at a height of between two and four metres.
Climbers: To decorate bare garden walls, Clematis cirrhosa var. balearica AGM produces cream spotted red or maroon flowers from November to March and can reach up to four metres tall. To complement this, Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’ AGM blooms with lovely cream flecked maroon or violet flowers from November to March, reaching a similar height.
Bulbs: For ground-level plants, you can choose a range of colours – from the yellow flowers of Eranthis hyemalis AGM in January to March, to the white flowers of Galanthus nivalis AGM between January and February and the pale blue flowered Scilla mischtschenkoana ‘Tubergeniana’ – which also blooms in February.
Five top winter plants to brighten your garden this winter
Here are our five favourite winter plants to get your garden going. Happy planting!
- Coronilla valentina subsp. glauca
- Helleborus niger
- Mahonia × media ‘Winter Sun’
- Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna
- Stachyurus praecox