December 22

December 22

Christmas is coming, and the berries are getting fat. Viburnum farreri is in full bloom, and the scent just now is amazing from those clusters of pink and white flowers.

In an average garden, there are lots of interesting bits and pieces that you can put together to create some wonderful and colourful festive displays.

Holly (with or without berries), Cotoneaster Cornubla, has the most berries until Christmas (unless the Fieldfares get there first). All varieties of Juniper can be put to great use. Quince, there should still be fruits on the stems that can emit a pleasant scent. There are also the stems of Cornus and Willow for bright colour (You can also use both of these stems to make rings for wreaths). Other more colourful plants are Pieris, various Euonymus, Golden Privet, Vinca, Laurel, Camellia, Thuja and some ‘dead’ structural herbaceous plants with seed heads, like Fennel.

Hopefully, you can use your creative skills to enjoy your efforts throughout the Festive Season.

Even in December, there are still lots for Gardeners to do. Because we’ve had such a mild Autumn and all that rain, things have still been blooming, but they need to be dealt with now.

There is still time to plant up pots and beds with bedding plants and spring flowering bulbs.

As these pots will last until at least the end of May, plan for ongoing colour and interest. There are lots of bulbs that, if chosen correctly, will give you pleasure throughout the Spring.

If you have fruit bushes, Currants, Gooseberries and Blueberries, now is a good time to give them a prune. Apples and Pears are best left until January/ February, and Plum trees should not be pruned at this time. They get done in late spring or early Autumn.

If you haven’t yet done so, lift your Dahlias and Begonias before they get frosted.

If you get bored over the Festive Break, there will be lots that you can do in the garden. Tidy up patios and decking areas. You can get some weeding done in the beds and spread some compost on your beds. Get on with any cutting back of the herbaceous plants; it is also a good time for moving plants and shrubs.

Have an enjoyable and productive month, and try to be creative with your foliage.