December in your garden
Monday, 4 December 2017 | Alison
I am not too sure where the year has gone, are you? Is it an age thing I wonder or is life just lived at such a fast pace these days that it all meshes into one.
Well, whatever it is, I think that early December, before the 'silly season' really begins, is a good time to assess what you loved and didn't love in your garden this year. What was successful and what did not quite live up to expectations. Which plants do you wish you had tried and which are the ones that you simply must have again next summer.
One of our famous and respected gardeners Vita Sackville-West said of gardeners "They are always optimistic, always enterprising, and never satisfied".
That just about sums it up perfectly I think. We gardeners are always waiting in anticipation for a plant to blossom or flower, we come up with all sorts of ideas to make our gardens perform to their best and we always want to improve and have the best garden we can make.
So whilst you are making a note of new ideas for next year's veggie plot, flower border and summer bedding pots, here are a few things to be doing on fine days in your garden during December.
Brookside Nursery Top Ten Tips for your garden in December:-
*As your garden bares all for the winter with some trees and shrubs losing their leaves, take a good look around and see if you need to plant an evergreen shrub to enhance a skeleton looking area or maybe to give you more privacy from a neighbours garden.
*As the cold weather will inevitably come forth, the garden goes into a temporary state of dormancy on the surface and above ground, although there is plenty going on still underneath. It is an ideal time to plant deciduous trees and shrubs. Firm the soil in well around the roots to avoid cold air pockets forming and allowing frost in to damage to new roots.
*If you have a neglected area of the garden, make a start to clear it, digging out perennial weeds. Once the area is free of weeds and level, spread a good layer of well-rotted manure over the surface and then let the worms do the work by drawing the goodness into the earth.
*Make sure any stand-pipes or taps are protected from freezing conditions. There are polystyrene tap covers available that are easy to fit or you could make your own with a plastic milk bottle container stuffed with straw.
*Prune grapevines in December. If you have an established one, cut back this year's growth to one visible bud to maintain a neat plant that will produce a better crop next year.
*The winter months are a great time to thoroughly clean, sharpen and generally oil & shine up your garden tools ready for the new season. It is a job worth doing as your tools will last longer and work more efficiently, even if you don't.
*Order bare root perennials now for delivery in March. These can be a cheaper way to increase your range of plants and once planted will romp away producing flowers in their first season. CLICK HERE for our bare root range
*Check that climbers like roses, clematis and wisteria are tied into their supports to prevent damage from strong winds. Also ensure that the supports themselves are sturdy. Wooden ones can rot at the base after a few years.
*Feed the birds if you can by providing them with specially formulated suet balls or blocks and put up different bird feeders/feed to encourage as many types of birds as possible to come into your garden. Use any stored fruits, like apples, that are going over. I have some very happy blackbirds in my garden making light work of some I have put out and birds are a very welcome sight in the winter months.
*Ponds with fish may need to be netted now as herons seem to visit more in the winter months, especially to my pond. If you don't have a pump keeping the water moving, place a tennis ball in the pond to prevent it freezing over.
Once you have done all these jobs it will be time to sit down, sherry or gin in hand and peruse our website.
We have increased our range this season to include more beautiful flowers, vibrant vegetables, seeds, bulbs and bare root perennials.
Register now online to receive our 2018 catalogue in February and in the meantime check the website regularly for our latest exciting additions.
Wishing you all a very peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Gardening Year!