Artichoke

December Jobs

Garden Maintenance

The seasons are definitely changing and as a gardener this takes some adapting too. Garden maintenance now requires more flexibility on behalf of the gardener, jobs that I would have been doing in the garden this time last year are simply not ready to be done. My apple trees are holding onto their foliage and many flowers that should have stopped flowering by now are still going strong. Resist the urge to simply cut back that shrub because this is the time of year that you always do it, exercise a little patience and embrace the subtle differences we are sure to experience in the coming years.

 

Flower Power

Whilst this time of year is all about preparation for next season and there are many bulbs waiting to be planted. There’s still plenty of colour to enjoy in the garden right now;

  • Heather

  • Christmas Rose

  • Cyclamen

  • Winter clemetis

  • Pansy

  • Viola

 

Veg Plot

We just had our first week of frosts here in Devon but provided you offer some protection of a cloche or greenhouse, you can still sow;

  • Cauliflower

  • Radish

  • Salad

 

But at this time of year it’s about the harvest and if you planned your veg patch well, you could be harvesting the following now;

  • Brussel Sprouts

  • Cabbages

  • Carrots

  • Kale

  • Leeks

  • Parsnips

  • Swede

 

Herbs

Again as long as you offer some protection you can be sowing;

  • Coriander

  • Parsley

  • Chervil

 

And now its time to enjoy the wonderful aromas of;

  • Horseradish

  • Rosemary

  • Thyme

 

Pruning 

It’s a good month for a winter prune of the following;

  • Current (red & white)

  • Gooseberry

  • Grapes

  • Pear

 

Shrub Pruning

If you have any of the following shrubs in your garden now is a good time to prune;

  • Cornus (the stems make wonderful Christmas decoration)

  • Shrub Roses

  • Wisteria

 

Nature

Now the frosty nights have set in, it’s important to do all we can to help our garden guests;

  • Bug hotel, if you haven’t already made one its never too late

  • Make sure that your bird feeders are topped up and they have access to water, making sure that bird baths haven’t frozen over

  • Store woody prunings in a quiet corner of the garden somewhere, this provides some protection for small insects and in the spring you can add it to your compost heap