December in the garden

December in the garden

As I settled down to write this post, it started snowing. Could that be any more appropriate for December in the garden? A lot (although not all!) of my winter gardening jobs were done in November, but I won’t be hibernating away this month as there’s still plenty to do.

Pruning and clearing

November saw a lot of mild weather so parts of my garden haven’t died back fully yet.  I’m always reluctant to chop things down when they’re still flowering.  Like my lovely Cobea Scandens Alba (also known as the cup and saucer plant because of the shape of the flowers).  It’s hard to believe that this fantastic wall covering started out life as a seed no bigger than my little finger nail last February.

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And I still need to prune my roses, my salvias, and cut back plenty of brown foliage elsewhere so new growth can get through in spring.

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Planning ahead

Once plants have died back and you’ve cleared everything away, it’s time to have a look at the bare bones of your garden and start planning on what you’d like to grow where.  A lot will depend on your soil (acidic or alkaline, sandy or clay) and whether the plant needs full sun or will tolerate shade.  But don’t worry about being too scientific, my motto has always been to plant things and if they grow, they grow.  If they don’t, just try something else.  Gardening should be fun, not something to get stressed about.

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And remember, Nature will always have her own ideas – walking around today I came across some raspberries.  Yes, raspberries in December!

Winter colour and fragrance

If you haven’t planted any winter bedding yet there’s no harm in trying if your soil isn’t frozen.  Last year we planted lots of primroses and they’ve started peeking through now, which is a welcome burst of colour.  And my mahonia has started flowering too – on a sunny day it really glows (not that you can really tell from this photo, sorry!) and it smells wonderful when you walk past.

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Another plant that is coming into its own is my winter flowering honeysuckle, which I’ve planted close to our front door.  It’s still a young plant so not many flowers yet but in a few years it should scramble all the way up the trellis and pump out some lovely scent.  When it dies back in spring, the climbing rose will take over again (that’s the theory anyway, we’ll see what happens!).

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Wildlife

At this time of year it’s really important to look after wildlife visitors and residents.  We have lots of bird feeders throughout the garden and recently treated ourselves to the beautiful poppy feeders in the picture at the top of this post.  We bought them from Homebase and the label said that Gardman will donate 50p to the Royal British Legion for each feeder purchased, so they really are a worthwhile buy.

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And in case you’re wondering why there’s a Spiderman ball in the pond, it’s to prevent a solid edge-to-edge ice sheet.  We have a frog and at least one newt living in our pond and they need a breathing hole so they don’t suffocate.

So this is my December in the garden, and my last gardening post of 2017.  May I wish you all a lovely Christmas, and I’ll leave you with a winter shot of our tiger in the orchard!

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(This post contains some affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission at no cost to you if you make any purchases using these links).

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Jenny
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That’s a really good idea keeping the ball in the pond so it doesn’t ice over completely! Good thinking Batman! Although I am absolutely TERRIFIED of frogs so if I ever came to your house I certainly wouldn’t be looking out for it haha! I love your gardening posts Lisa, it amazes me how much you know. I’d love to be this clued up about something like gardening (:

@abbeylouisarose
Guest

Your tiger in the orchard did make me smile – where did you get him from!? I bet he’s given a few people a fright as they wander through your garden hehe! I am seriously impressed at the fact you’ve still got raspberry bushes with fruit on, your garden is obviously going strong! How well is your cup and saucer plant doing? That’s good growth in such a short space of time! I bet your honeysuckle will be looking gorgeous in years to come!

Abbey ❄️ http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

Envy Fisher
Guest

I was too late to do any of these things! The clouds decided to drop six inches of snow on my country today and our garden was so not ready… But at least we put some food out for the birds 🙂

x Envy

Zara Anne
Guest
Zara Anne

Your plants are lovely! My mum is a huge gardening fan and she’s been tending her plants best she can in the winter xx

Eleanor May
Guest

I wish I knew so much about gardening. I’m absolutely useless at it so I learnt a lot from this post!

Sunkissed Scribbles
Guest

Brilliant idea about the ball in the pond. We get frogs, toads and newts in our garden but I haven’t seen any since October. They have lots of little hiding places in our garden. We’re getting inundated with birds at the moment so we’re trying to keep all their food topped up and give them water but it keeps freezing.

Zoe Jackson
Guest
Zoe Jackson

Your garden is beautiful, I love your Primroses they are just stunning in the winter, my nan has a huge garden and I would sit and watch her tend her flowers and making sure there were place little wildlife could go and when the snow fell it just look perfect. I wish you a very merry Christmas

Amy
Guest

I know very little about gardening, but you seem so knowledgeable and all your photos are stunning. I especially love the tiger photo; they’re pretty much my favourite animal ?
Amy xx
http://www.goldenbooksgirl.wordpress.com

Chloe
Guest

Hi, I need to get some honeysuckle next year. We had a lovely one in our old house and I regret not taking it with us.

Bexa
Guest

Your garden is beautiful Lisa! It looks so festive covered in snow. That tiger is brilliant, so unique and a real talking point I imagine! I love it! xx

Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

Sophie
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Sophie

What great ideas! I’m terrible at gardening so will take this post on board!- https://sophhearts.com x

Louise
Guest

Lovely photographs. I would like to do more gardening next year. I’ve not done much, but I kept strawberries in our old garden, and we enjoyed them every summer. I can’t believe you found raspberries in December! I also have a patio cherry which is 8 or 10 years old.

rebecca
Guest

I love the idea of the ball to stop the pond freezing over!

Becca!
http://www.mygirlsandmesite.com

Isabel
Guest
Isabel

You really do write the loveliest garden posts, I so enjoy reading them. And you have reminded me to make sure my mums garden is fully stocked up with bird seed as she has a lot of house sparrows, robins and pigeons that stop by hoping for a meal.

Jennifer | Mrs Q Beauty
Guest

Wishing you a great holiday season! I don’t know much about gardening but you seem to have so much knowledge.

Jennifer | Mrs Q Beauty

Jude
Guest
Jude

What a lovely post! My garden is looking a bit sad at the moment! We’ve had a lot of snow and it’s crushed so much, I hope things recover when it goes! xx

Courtney
Guest
Courtney

Looks so pretty!

Claudia
Guest

So clever about the ball in the pond, I wouldn’t have thought of that!

I was hoping my garden would be a garden by now but it needs so much more work doing to it before I can even begin to plant beautiful flowers and herbs! Will have to start working on it again when the weather is warmer.

Claudia xo

Kirstie Wheeler
Guest

I really love the photos in this post – your garden looks so lovely even in winter. I was happy reading that you have a ball in your pond, we used to do the same with ours until we got a water pump that is now on pretty much 24/7.

I can’t wait to eventually move out so I can work on my green thumb – though I’ll probably get my dad to take care of most of it haha!

xx

http://www.kirstiekinsblogs.co.uk

andthenzen ✨
Guest

Your tiger is so cool?! I wonder what he looked like after all the snow we had this weekend! ?

Bethany Jane
Guest

I’ve never thought about putting a ball in a pond – that’s genius! I love newts, they remind me of my grandparents’ house as they had two ponds and lots of webbed-footed visitors haha! That honeysuckle is so lovely, it’s going to look amazing when it’s fully established. I’m so excited to see what happens in your garden next year!
Beth x http://www.adventureandanxiety.com

Ellie
Guest

I am so clueless about gardening so it’s a good job I don’t have my own yet! Lovely post

Ellie x

http://elliesbitsofbeauty.com