December gardening tips
Trees, shrubs and climbers
From now until March is the ideal time to plant bare rooted deciduous hedging - the most economical way to establish a hedge. Beech and hornbeam (similar to beech but more suitable for heavy soils) both keep their leaves over the winter and are therefore good for screening, whilst hawthorn is the ‘country classic’ - perfect for a natural looking yet almost impenetrable barrier.
Prepare a trench, preferably a week or so before planting to give the soil a chance to settle. Wait until the ground is neither sodden nor frozen and plant away - it’s worth waiting for the right conditions; your plants will be perfectly happy sitting in the pots of compost they came in for weeks!
Rhododendrons and camellias make excellent Christmas presents - if your soil is unsuitable (alkaline), the centre has a great choice of elegant pots. Don’t forget the ericaceous compost...
Cut shoots and branches for winter decoration. If you have holly berries net some of them for Christmas otherwise the birds will have the lot. Secure netting firmly to prevent birds becoming trapped in loose folds.
Make a Christmas wreath using evergreen sprigs from your garden, decorations such as berries and fir cones, dried orange slices, cinnamon sticks and wide, wired ribbon.