December Gardening Jobs 2023
Christmas is nearly upon us, and although the light is at it's lowest and the weather is often grey, there is nothing nicer than sitting inside cosy and warm, admiring all the plants that take centre stage this season. Seed heads shimmering in the frost, vibrant stem colour, winter flowers glowing in the morning sunshine and the magnificent evergreen structures that have blended in so well all year, suddenly come into focus.
1. Treat your gardening friends and family this Christmas to a Langthorns Gift Card. The perfect gift for gardeners is the gift of choice. Plan a day out in the spring, take in the fresh countryside air and browse at your leisure.
2. Plant up some festive containers with Gaultheria procumbens Big Berry or Skimmia japonica reevesiana and Lenton roses (Hellebores) to place by your front door or on the terrace where you can enjoy them from inside. Try mixing them with evergreen grasses such as Uncinia rubra Everflame and winter flowering pansies or violas for great contrasting effects.
3. Holly, evergreen shrub with vibrant berries or small decorative conifer and dress simply with some elegant lights and natural decorations and place by the front door for a fantastic effect.
4. Ensure all climbers are securely tied to their supports (fence, trellis, pergola), to prevent damage from strong winter winds.
5. During mild spells, you can still plant deciduous shrubs, allowing their roots to establish over winter. Great choices for this season are winter flowering Hamamelis, scented shrubby honeysuckle Lonicera fragrantissima, Viburnum x bodnantense Dawn or Wintersweet Chimonanthus praecox. Click here for more suggestions on plants that provide fantastic colour in winter.
6. Prune back grapevines to a good structural framework before sap starts to rise. Pruning too late can weaken the plant.
7. Protect any of your pots that are more vulnerable to frosts with horticultural fleece or hessian. Raise them up onto pot feet to aid drainage and prevent water-logging.
8. Continue to tidy messy borders on clear, dry days. Trim back flower heads and broken stems/branches and remove any remaining weeds. Finish off by adding a layer of mulch to maintain soil moisture and aid spring growth.
9. Tidy Hellebores by cutting off old leaves preventing disease and allowing flowers to be fully enjoyed.
10. Carry out any necessary pruning on Japanese Maples now that they are dormant. If you need to reduce the size, take the long growth back to lower side shoots. Remove any dead or crossing branches for a healthier plant and great shape.
11. Service mowers, sharpen and clean tools and store them away ready for spring.
12. Gardens offer a vital sanctuary for birds during a harsh winter so providing fatty foods and keeping water baths topped up is crucial. Ensure a good selection of foods to encourage an eclectic collection of our feathered friends to your garden. Niger seeds, sunflower seeds and peanuts, fat balls, suet treats and fruit, such as halved apples (a favourite with blackbirds).
13. Mixed bare-root hedging will soon be in stock so keep an eye on our website for updates. Best planted in soil that is not frozen or waterlogged. Help provide food and shelter for a wide variety of wildlife in your garden by plugging any gaps or corners that are otherwise wasted space. We have a wide selection that sells fast, so order yours now to avoid disappointment.
14. Take hardwood cuttings from deciduous trees, shrubs and climbers. It's a simply and cost-free way of propagation plants, such as Cornus, Deutzia, Philadelphus, Viburnum, Lonicera, Salix etc. If you've not tried it before, then all you need is a small piece of sheltered ground where the cuttings can be allowed to root for a year.
15. Rake up the last of the leaves that have fallen and add them to your compost or store them in hessian sacks out of sight. Large or evergreen leaves will break down much quicker if you are able to shred them.
16. Help combat climate change and encourage wildlife by planting a new deciduous tree in your garden. We have trees for all size gardens, providing interest throughout the seasons, whether you are looking spring blossom, summer shade, autumn berries and fiery foliage or spectacular winter bark, we have it all.
17. Keep an eye on overwintering plants in the greenhouse. Open air vents on mild, damp days to allow air to circulate. Look out for Grey Mould and remove any infected growth. Lightly water any pots that are very dry.
18. It's the best time of year to start planning and designing new borders/areas for your garden. Search our Plant Selection page for ideas and pop into Langthorns for advice on maximising interest throughout the seasons. We are closed from Thursday 21st December at noon and reopen on Wednesday 3rd January.
All of us at Langthorns Plantery wish you a very Happy Christmas and we look forward to seeing you in 2024.