Gardening by Month - December

 

In the rush of Christmas, our gardens are sometimes overlooked, but if you’re in the festive spirit, choose foliage to spruce up your garden for now and throughout the year.

If you’re Christmas shopping at Garsons, look out for shrubs to fill the gaps in your garden. Evergreen shrubs such as holly are a wonderful addition. Not enough space in your garden borders? You can plant one in a glazed or terracotta pot. From green to gold, silver and cream, the glossy leaves of holly look stunning throughout the year and the berries are a welcome sight at Christmas. Don’t forget bunches of holly and mistletoe when decorating your home.

Most holly plants are either male or female. To get berries, grow a female variety and ensure there's a male nearby to pollinate its flowers. Don't take the name as a guarantee, for example, the popular ‘Silver Queen' variety is actually male, and ‘Golden King' is a female berry-bearing variety! Ask for advice in the garden centre if you’re unsure.

Another festive favourite is the sarcococca, or Christmas box. It has rich glossy leaves and lots of tiny white scented flowers in December and January, making it a lovely gift. The Christmas box comes from the Himalayas and is especially hardy. If it’s not frosty you can still plant it in December, or it will be ideal in a container close to your front or back door where you can smell its lovely fragrance.

Viburnums and nandina have great leaf colour. The evergreen azalea has attractive leaf colouring as winter kicks in. Conifers are coming into their own. Garsons has a superb selection, whether you would like to plant them in your borders or pots.

Containers don’t have to be filled with flowering plants. Pots planted with a mixture of different coloured foliage look good and don’t need much maintenance. Euphorbia, Heuchera, Euonymus and trailing ivy are just a few with fantastic foliage. Have a browse around the garden centre for inspiration.

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