Have a breather from the Christmas rush and enjoy some fresh air in the garden. If it's not frosty, now is still a good time to plant shrubs, since the soil is warm enough to encourage root growth.
Winter jasmine is a great choice if you’re looking for something tall to brighten a north facing wall, which wouldn’t suit many flowering plants. It has yellow flowers during the winter, bringing a welcome splash of colour to the garden this time of year.
The mahonia is a yellow winter flowering evergreen. Position it where you can enjoy the lily-of-the-valley scent. The long-lasting flowers are often followed by small, plum-coloured fruits, which birds love. Mahonias are hardy and they generally aren’t affected by pests. They like partial or full shade so long as there are good light levels, and they are a versatile, low maintenance plant.
You can prune fruit trees now, except stone fruit, as the sap is being drawn back into the trees. Established roses can be reduced in height by a third to prevent the wind catching them. Leave the pruning of clematis, wisteria and anything tender until the end of winter.
Add a layer of mulch when the soil is moist, before frost gets into the ground. Mulching provides a protective winter layer and prevents soil erosion. Landscape bark, leaf mould and manure are great soil improvers, so stock up on some bags from Garsons.
Back indoors, flowering houseplants make pretty table decorations and lovely gifts. There are plenty of gorgeous pots and planted containers at Garsons. Choose from cyclamen in shades of red and white, our Plant of the Month, the poinsettia, or how about an elegant orchid to add natural style to your festive home? The cymbidium is one of the easiest orchids to grow, which is surprising when it has such exotic flowers. The flowers last about ten weeks during the winter, and colours include white, cream, yellow, pink, red and orange.
Potted hyacinths give gorgeous flowers and sweet fragrance to your home and garden. They make lovely Christmas gifts, and are perfect for a windowsill, conservatory, doorstep, patio or balcony. Put them where you can smell their fragrance when passing by.
Lastly, don’t forget the wildlife in your garden over the winter months. Wild bird feed will keep our feathered friends going, as will a birdbath or bowls of water kept topped up and unfrozen.
Until next month, happy gardening and merry Christmas!