It’s December and even though it may be getting colder and the days longer, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy your garden.
First up is general housekeeping (or garden-keeping?); you’ll need to prune and protect your plants, shrubs and trees, rake up and compost fallen leaves (to prevent lawn diseases – and give you some lovely compost!), and dig over empty flowerbeds.
What to prune: Japanese Maples (Acers), climbing Roses, and open grown apple and pear trees.
How to protect your plants and fragile shrubs in winter: wrap horticultural fleece around the base of delicate plant and shrubs, and around pots to prevent them from cracking during the very cold weather. Lift pots off the ground using plant feet as this will help to protect the plants’ roots from damage by frost.
Dig over empty flowerbeds to allow the frost in – the cold will break up any compacted soil and help the soil to be more manageable.
Now the garden-keeping is taken care of, you can get planting!
Despite popular misconception, you can plant during the winter as long as the ground isn’t frozen or waterlogged. If this is the case, it is actually possible to plant all manner of perennials, shrubs and trees, but if you’re not sure where to start try fruit bushes such as gooseberries, blackberries and raspberries, and shrubs that add winter interest and fragrance including Sarcococca Confusa, Witch hazel, and winter Honeysuckle. You can also try bare root Roses.
This is the last month to plant up bulbs, so get cracking as soon as you can to create a wonderful display of spring colour and get the season off to a great start.
Need a boost of instant colour in your garden? It’s easy – plant pots with colourful mini Cyclamen, grasses and heathers!