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Garden Diary

December

With flowering poinsettias and the ripening berries, December can enchant us with an array of colour, especially against the backdrop of sprinkled snow or a crisp frost.

Jobs to be done:

Preparation of new borders for herbaceous plants can begin. Dig deep and manure the ground ready for spring planting.

Fallen rose leaves can be raked from beds and should be burned. You can make a start on pruning hardy shrub roses for example, the kordesii group, the wichuraina ramblers and some floribunda shrubs.

During December many trees and shrubs will add plenty of colour to the garden as flowering can take place between November and March.

Dead leaves should still be removed from lawns as often as possible and you should pay attention to uneven and messy lawn edges. Where the edges have worn bald, turn the piece of turf so that the old worn edge faces the centre of the lawn. Gaps can be filled with topsoil.

Top Tips:

Caring for your garden can produce wonderful results and a great sense of achievement. These seasonal tips should help save time and prevent your hard work going to waste!

  • Christmas-flowering and roman hyacinths will be in full bloom now. The perfume given off at this time of year is still as strong as in mid-season, but will not last as long, so bring them indoors.
  • Lily bulbs delivered now should be firm and plump. If they are shrivelled, restore their quality by placing them in damp peat for 1-2 weeks.
  • Berry bearing hedges are at their best in December, so any gardener looking to add to a hedge collection should consider these.
  • Try and gain a store of road salt to prepare clear paths etc. for the winter conditions that will undoubtedly lie ahead.
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