Top Ten Tips for Winter Gardening

Added: 09/12/14 : 08:56:31


The Top Ten Winter Gardening Tips to prepare your garden for the cold months ahead:

    Empty any of your pots that are not frost-proof and move them under cover to protect them from the winter weather.

   
Have all you garden machinery serviced during the winter season and drain all excess fuel.

    Avoid walking on frost covered grass.

    Plant any bare-root or pot-grown ornamental deciduous trees.

    Check all tree ties and stakes are secure before winter winds hit.

    Sow seeds of early cabbage varieties indoors, learn more about planting cabbage.
    Sow broad beans outdoors for an early crop.

    Plant onions and garlic in your vegetable garden in December, this will be ready to harvest in
    early spring.

    Lift and divide any perennial flowers when we get a good day.

    Tidy up your strawberry beds by removing unwanted runners, old leaves and developing weeds.

Decorative tips for a cheerful December

Added: 09/12/14 : 09:02:25


               In the cosy month of December we spend most of our time indoors as the weather is cold and sunshine is scarce. However, this does not mean that we have to miss out on the glorious colours and scents of nature. With evergreen hedges, trees and plants, there are many ways to get closer to nature. Tips on how to create a magnificent winter-green patio feature and how to use evergreen plants in Christmas flower arrangements are given below.

Greenery on the garden table

    Leucothoe Scarletta

    This beautiful evergreen shrub feels very comfortable on the patio. The leaves take on a deep
    red hue in winter, eventually turning green in spring. It is sensible to protect the pot with
    bubble wrap in severe frost.

    Camellia

    Richly flowering camellia is an elegant tub plant or pot plant with its large, eye-catching
    flowers. Camellia is a member of the tea family. The plant keeps its leaves in winter so it is
    a very decorative sight on the garden table.

    Gaultheria
    This magnificent evergreen plant has masses of striking red berries. It is also known
    as wintergreen. This is a popular plant and an asset in any winter garden.

    Cyclamen Persicum (Floristís Cyclamen)
    This mixed collection of winter-flowering cyclamens is ideal for creating a Christmas
    decoration,  thanks to the fabulous flowers in fresh colours that appear in abundance during
    the winter months. A very eye-catching patio feature.

Choosing a pot


Once you have chosen which hardy plants you want to use for your winter table, it is time to decide on a suitable layout. The design is entirely up to you. Anything is possible. However, you should take into account that you may want to swap the plants around to determine the most attractive arrangement, so it is best to avoid very heavy pots and containers!
Do not forget to position your plants on the table or on the ground in such a way that you have a good view of them from indoors.

Christmas flower arrangements

Besides creating a winter table with evergreen plants on your patio, you could also make some Christmas flower arrangements for indoors. These are so pretty that they can be used to brighten up the home well before Christmas. Although these Christmas decorations are available in all sorts and sizes in the shops, making your own is much more fun. You can choose your favourite colours and greenery, decide on the shape, and enjoy creating an original design.

Floristís foam is used as a basis. You will also need a shrub with red berries, as the bright colours immediately evoke a cosy Christmas atmosphere. Suitable plants for Christmas arrangements are holly and conifer varieties, skimmia japonica, pieris japonica and ivy (hedera hibernica). Other possible ingredients are moss, pine needles, Christmas baubles or even artificial snow. The Christmas arrangement should be moistened from time to time with a plant sprayer so that it will last longer.

Birds like berries too

During periods of frost and snow, the birds will probably want to eat the berries on your holly bush. To avoid losing all your berries, you could cut some berry sprigs at the beginning of this month. Keep them in moist sand until you need them for your Christmas arrangement. You could also cover your plants with netting to keep the birds away from your berries.