Seasonal greetings to you all – as I am writing this, England has just been put into lockdown, and whilst this will be a daunting prospect, there are still some jobs that can be done in your December garden to get you outside for some fresh air and restore some calm to your thoughts.
This year in particular, I think we have all come to realise the importance of being outside, whether in your own garden relaxing with the family, or growing some vegetables for the first time or visiting a local park or a walk in the countryside, a safe space is priceless.
Many trees will already have lost their leaves, but there those tough nuts that hold on as long as they can. Sweeping leaves and tidying your area is very therapeutic and a great way to keep warm. If you have the space, why not have a go at making some leaf mould to use as a mulch.
Any autumn hanging baskets and pots you planted up should still be looking good, keep dead heading flowers to encourage them to continue flowering, but it is not too late to create a winter themed basket and the garden center will have plenty of plants to choose from.
Cyclamen and winter flowering pansies are always great for a splash of colour to brighten up the dullest of days, or you could try using hellebores and the red berried Gaultheria for a seasonal touch.
Why not have a go at making a Christmas wreath for your own front door? You can gather all you need with a little respectful foraging in the hedgerows and on the ground when you are out for a walk and from your garden.
Try using Ivy, winter jasmine, and the gorgeous seed heads from the wild clematis, Old Man’s Beard and just add some fir cones, spruce and holly for a seasonal look. To get started purchase a rattan or wire wreath ring from your garden centre and get weaving, a great way to spend a few hours creating something beautiful which you can proudly display to the world!
Scented and structural planting come into their own at this time of the year in the winter garden, so now is a good time to think about revising your borders to ensure you have as much all year round colour and interest as possible. This is something I can help you with, just give me a call and we can discuss some ideas.
Now seems a good time to add that I now offer a Garden Design Consultation Voucher, perfect for a Christmas gift for a family member or friend, again, give me a call for further details.
Do not forget the insects! If you have some bits and bobs in your shed, you could have a go at making a bug hotel that will be appreciated by lots of little critters. Even a neat pile of logs in the corner of your garden will provide refuge from the cold wet winter months for all sorts of creepy crawlies and will make you will feel that you are doing your bit to help nature. Keep bird feeders topped up with seed to attract a whole host of visitors to your garden each day, and remember they need a fresh supply of water even when it is icy.
How about brightening up the garden with some simple lights? As the days are now shorter and we have less opportunity to get outside, adding some lights will allow you to appreciate your garden from the warm indoors. Use tea lights suspended from tree branches in clear jam jars or some fairy lights wrapped around a tree or draped over garden shrubs to create a magical feel to your garden.
Perhaps you have a seating area which you could utilise into the winter months? Adding some lighting and perhaps a fire bowl to toast some marshmallows, wrapped up in a warm blanket with a hot drink makes the perfect place to be with the family making it the heart of your winter garden.
Until next time Happy Christmas