December Garden Notes
Wrap up warm and get outside this month to enjoy your winter garden at its best. From delicate flowers and intoxicating fragrances to evergreen foliage and bright berries, winter displays come to life on sunny days. Enjoy the transformation of leaves and branches with the addition of ice crystals after a hard frost - and hope like me that the harsh conditions will kill off a few unwanted pests! Hardy plants will naturally withstand cold temperatures, so add a few to your borders to add extra winter interest to your display.
To tempt you to colour-up, consider planting Chimonanthus praecox (wintersweet), Lonicera purpusii “Winter Beauty”, Daphne odora “aureomarginata”, Garrya elliptica and winter heathers. Jasmin nudiflorum and clematis cirrhosa are notable winter-flowering climbers which will brighten bare trellis.
For berries, look at Callicarpa “profusion” with its unusual clusters of violet-purple spheres. Pyracantha (firethorn), and Ilex holly varieties are both visually appealing and tasty food for wildlife. Gaultheria/Pernettya have berries of various colours to fit in with your scheme.
And finally, a seasonal reminder about fresh Christmas trees. Nordmann Fir are the UK’s most popular tree with their excellent needle retention, whereas Norway Spruce are often regarded as the traditional tree (by my generation!) and have a piney scent. Whatever type of tree you choose, keep it well watered. Store it in a bucket of water until you bring it inside, and place it away from direct heat such as radiators or an open fire. Keep the Christmas tree stand topped up with water every day.
Happy Christmas !