“From December to March, there are for many of us three gardens –
the garden outdoors,
the garden of pots and bowls in the house,
and the garden of the mind’s eye.”
Katherine S. White
The festive period is here! Whilst this year is going to look very different from usual, take the opportunity to spend more time outdoors… between the downpours!
Bare-rooted rose bushes and other deciduous shrubs can be planted this month.
Wisteria, fruit trees, roses and Japanese maples are just some of the plants that benefit from a winter prune.
Lift and store dahlia tubers once their leaves are blackened by frost.
Spread fresh gravel or grit around alpine plants.
Tie wall shrubs and climbers onto their supports to protect them from wind damage.
Keep clearing up any leaves so that slugs and snails can’t shelter beneath them.
Protect newly planted trees, hedges and shrubs from cold winds and frosts, which can loosen and lift the roots. Gently re-firm them in if you notice this problem erect a temporary netting windbreak if there is no natural shelter.
If you’re storing any vegetables, check them every couple of weeks to pick out any that have started to rot.
Cover ponds with netting and remove filters and pumps so that they don’t suffer any damage from freezing water during the winter months.
Garden birds will be finding it more and more difficult to find food. Put out fat balls, peanuts and sunflower hearts to help them. Remember to break the ice on birdbaths so that they have access to fresh water.
Winter-flowering viburnums are in full bloom at this time of year, with bare branches smothered in clusters of pink flowers. A few flowering twigs placed in a vase will fill the whole room with their delicious fragrance.