December in the garden

Having had three very wet years in a row, I know lots of people have been overwhelmed with the extent to which plants have grown.  I've had calls from people saying their garden is beginning to resemble a jungle and what to do about it.

Gardening is not always a tempting prospect at this time of year. It's quite likely to be cold and wet, and there are preparations for the festive season to think about.  However, if you can be bothered (or seek some assistance from a local expert gardener) it's a good idea to have a serious think about what you can live without next year.  Just because a plant is in your garden, doesn't mean it has to stay there.  I know lots of people tolerate some of the plants in their gardens.  I think this is a real shame, given how much they love the garden and how many fantastic beautiful plants there are to enjoy - to look at every day...  If you have plants that no longer bring a smile to your face, why not replace them? 

Having created a bit of space, it's time to decide whether to tidy the garden or leave it as it is. Traditionally, autumn is the time for clearing away what remains of your herbaceous perennials in your borders. These days, however, more of us have become interested in the environment and in more naturalistic ways of gardening and feel it is fine to leave these summer plants standing to enjoy their structural features.  Sedums, Echinacea purpurea, Phlomis, Eryngiums, Achilleas and many grasses are worth leaving standing over winter.

With all this time you have saved by not tidying, you can instead put your feet up and browse plant catalogues or think about presents for green-fingered friends and family. There are some great gardening books available, and one of my favourites has to be any of the IGPOTY series - International garden photographer of the year.  For junior gardeners, how about their own trowel and fork set; these are widely available online.  For ethically-minded consumers I would recommend, which has an extensive range of books, tools and toys.  Or keep it local and treat a friend to one of the great courses put on by our local permaculture trust or call them on 07746 185927.  Or take a look at what our friends at the Garden House have on offer:; 07788 668595.

Wishing you all a merry Christmas.

Best wishes,


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