December Days in the Garden 2021
Here’s a cheery thought as we plunge headlong into December and the ‘silly season’. As of the 21st of the month, the days start to get longer and spring will be here before we know it. Now that is the best news many of us gardeners could hear.
Of course, it is the same every year but its always worth reminding ourselves that brighter days are sure to follow the not such good ones. I think we have all learnt that valuable lesson over the past eighteen months or so.
The mild autumn gave way to the recent storms named ‘Arwen’ and ‘Barra’, giving us all a spell of Arctic weather with destructive winds and snowy conditions in many parts of the UK.
With this in mind, here are a few jobs to do in the garden this month and a few to be thinking of for spring and summer 2022.
The Queens Platinum Jubilee 2022 is fast approaching and if you are thinking of reds, blues and whites for displays of patriotic colours in your beds, borders and hanging baskets for summer 2022, here are some below that should fit the bill. They are all on our website now, ready to order now as plug plants and delivered from 28th March 2022 in a week to suit you.
BLUES - Petunia Fanfare Deep Blue, Lobelia Sapphire, Surfinia Blue
REDS - Begonia Non-Stop Red, Petunia Eagle Red, Verbena Showboat Dark Red
WHITES -Argyranthemum Grandaisy White, Ageratum Aloha White, Geranium Horizon White
Plant tulips in December - You can still plant tulip bulbs into the ground or into containers for mid-late spring colour. The snap of cold weather and now milder conditions again make it an ideal time for planting.
If your ground is somewhat waterlogged, it may be better to plant bulbs into pots now and place the pots into the borders in spring when they are about to flower. The bonus with this method is that you can pop them in exactly the spot you want to see them flowering.
Raspberries, gooseberries, loganberries, jostaberries and blackcurrants – Who can resist picking fresh fruit straight from the garden? Our Scottish grown 2yr old plants in 3L pots make a great Christmas gift for a keen gardener. Click on this link to see our full range of soft fruit plants that are ready for planting now. Fruit for Winter Planting - Brookside Nursery
Prune Buddleias - Buddleias can grow up to 2-3m (6-9ft) in a season so cutting them back by half in early winter gives the roots more stability in the ground and prevents the plants from loosening in the soil especially with older growth. When spring comes you can give them a prune to reshape and allow new shoots to emerge.
Check tree ties and stakes – This is essential if you have planted a new tree this year, to ensure the roots stay in place and branches do not snap.
Brush snow fall from shrubs – When we have snowfall, I can always be seen walking around the garden with my broom, sweeping away. Not the paths though, but the tops of precious shrubs I have grown over the years. Azaleas, Rhododendrons and Pieris all get the special treatment as their boughs look at breaking point. More often than not they gently bounce back into shape.
Feed the birds – Part of my daily routine when I walk around the garden is to check the many birdfeeders I have dotted about in trees and bird feeding stations. I have always encouraged birds into the garden by feeding them throughout the year but especially in the winter months, when their natural food stocks can be low. I, like many others, have found it to be therapeutic to take a few minutes to sit down by the window and watch the birds going about their business. One or two squirrels tear about too and I love watching their antics as they do their best to demolish the feeders.
***The annual Big Garden Birdwatch is on during the weekend of 28th – 30th January 2022 so start encouraging the birds into your garden now so you have plenty to count!
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Gardening Year in 2022,
Alison, your Brookside blogger and all the team at Brookside Nursery