December – what to do in your garden this month

December 1, 2017 by Cherry Lane

Although December is a great month for putting your feet up in front of the fire and making plans for the following spring, there are gardening tasks that can be done this time of year, including ways to prepare for Christmas.

Plant up festive containers. Fill pots with dwarf Conifers, Cyclamen, Skimmia, evergreen Grasses and Gaultheria. Place the planted containers either side of your front door or somewhere near a path to enjoy the festive mix of colours. You could even go a step further by including battery operated, outdoor fairy lights – wrap them around the conifers, in amongst the foliage and around the pot. This will make a welcome sight for you and your guests.

Plant up festive containers

Check your tools. Open your shed and look over your tools for damage and dirt, cleaning if necessary. Think about what tools and equipment you will need for 2018, and add them to your Christmas list!

Protect exotic shrubs and trees. Wrap your Olives trees, Bay Laurels, hardy Palms and other semi hardy plants in horticultural fleece. This thin, breathable material works best when wrapped around a few times, as multiple layers insulate better. Citrus trees such as oranges and Kumquats, as well as non-hardy palms like Phoenix canariensis need a little more protection: bring them in to a frost-free greenhouse or conservatory. Cordylines (Torbay palms) simply need their leaves bunching close together and tying securely with soft twine to stop the ice and snow getting in.

Protect exotic shrubs and trees

Plant bulbs in pots. Although you will likely have your bulbs all planted now, it is a good idea to fill plastic pots with bulbs and keep them in the greenhouse or cold frame. They will develop roots well in the milder climate and be useful in spring for filling gaps in your beds, borders and containers. Use a good multipurpose compost such as Jack’s Magic when filling the pots.

Plant bulbs in pots

Choose your Christmas tree. Come and pick your fresh cut non-needledrop Nordman Fir. We have all sizes between 120cm/4ft and 240cm/8ft, and hundreds of trees to view – you’re bound to find a beautiful specimen! Potted trees at up to 4ft tall are available too. We also have a great offer – a tree that comes with a free base and measures between 150cm/5ft and 200cm/6ft 6in and costs only £32.99. When you get your tree home, take it out of it’s netting as soon as possible, and keep it outside until you are ready to bring it in. Saw 2cm/1in off the trunk of your cut tree to freshen the cut and let it take up water – keep it in a bucket of water so it can soak up plenty until you are ready to put it up. For best results put up the tree in a cool room, or at least away from heat sources. Keeping the tree cool and watered daily will ensure it stays in the best condition through the season.

Choose your Christmas tree

Tidy up your winter brassicas. Any yellow leaves showing on winter cabbage, sprouting broccoli, Brussels sprouts and other brassicas, are no use to the plants, and can be taken off and disposed of. This is to ensure no pests are harboured underneath to cause damage in spring.

Do your Christmas Shopping! At Cherry Lane this Christmas, there are gifts galore for gardeners and non-gardeners alike. Planted containers full of festive colour are very popular – we have both indoor and outdoor baskets, bowls and tubs. Or for someone who enjoys nurturing and watching things grow, we have bulb and seed planting kits which come presented in a container that you can grow them in. We do of course stock a wide range of Christmassy houseplants, the favourites being Poinsettias and Azaleas, all of which make great presents on their own, or as a little extra. Box topiary globes and pyramids are popular Christmas gifts, and are good to give in pairs, or for the promise of flower in the spring, Camellias are a great choice. Of course you can find many other ideas for presents at Cherry Lane, including toys, sweets and chocolates, giftware, tools for the avid allotmenteer, and even gifts for your pets. Add this to the huge range of decorations, lights, trees, cards and gift-wrap, making us your one-stop shop for Christmas!

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