December Gardener

Winter Prunus

Winter flowering Prunus x subhirtilla

Our gardens in the UK are expected to be fast going to sleep but the evidence to date is that some plants are far from asleep with the very unseasonal warm and strong southerly winds coming across the (UK) country.  I’ve seen Campanulas, Roses, and bulb shoots emerging  earlier.  Primulas are flowering everywhere and in my garden even a Ceonothus shrub  is deciding to produce a few small blooms! This clearly demonstrates our wonderful natural world of plants that can’t wait for Spring which is two and a half to three months away!!  Let’s hope our Flowering plants and Wildlife can survive the frosts of late December, January and February until the ground starts to warm up in March.  Mulching over the roots with compost will be the best help and bubble wrap vulnerable shrubs. Feeding birds and keeping an eye out for the safety of wildlife habitats can make all the difference for their survival especially the strong campaign in the UK to stop  the rapid decline of the Hedgehog which is very worrying as numbers have dropped nearly 60% over the last 10/20 years mostly due to loss of hedgerows  and sadly road casualties.  Hedgehogs  require access through neighbouring gardens so do take a look and see if you make that  easier for them.

Enjoy the red and white colours of the  magnificent berry shrubs and red and yellow Cornus and Salix stems that make Winter more enjoyable. Get your winter coat on more often and try  a cold dry walk through town parks country lanes, large gardens such as National  Trust and the very special RHS gardens. These larger garden areas will all be looking their magnificent best especially after a frost on a bright sunny morning in the coming two coldest months especially when the Snowdrops pop their heads up to give us a very first taste of the gardening year to come .

Next month I will cover planning for the garden year ahead.

May I take this opportunity of wishing all the rapidly growing visitors from the UK ,USA, Russia and European countries   and recently China and more further afield a very Happy Christmas and an especially Happy New Year in 2016.