Maintain your garden in the first month of winter with our December garden jobs

Winter is a quieter season in our gardens but it is still an important season where your work will result in a beautiful garden come spring and summer. December is also the month full of festivities, so get your fairy lights out and your holly foraged and give your home and garden a Christmas makeover!

1. Regularly maintain your pond

Do you have a pond in your garden? They are fantastic for providing rich habitats for wildlife, plus they are a great garden focal point. It is important to keep your pond clean all year round, but particularly in winter when the lower light levels make it harder for plants to photosynthesize and produce oxygen. If you also have fish in your pond make sure you are regularly removing any ice by melting it by placing a hot pan on the surface, or you can install a pond heater or a water feature. You can also float a ball in the water to delay any freezing as well. One thing to note is you should never smash the ice or pour hot water into your pond as the shock waves and temperature change can harm your fish.

2. Get ready to decorate for the festive season

You may be one of those people who think November is too early to begin thinking about anything Christmas related. But now we are in December, this month will perhaps involve putting up and decorating your Christmas tree and maybe a wreath on your door. Decorating your doorway is a great way not only to spruce up your home, but it brings a bit of festive cheer to all those who pass or visit your home. From bay trees, lemon and lime trees, to door hangers we have a wide range of Christmas collections available here.

3. Add some colour with Hellebores

Hellebores are one of the best garden plants for winter, with their ability to withstand cold temperatures and provide colourful blooms throughout winter. At Golden Valley Plants our hellebores are grown in-house at our nursery and they are known as the Helleborus Gold Collection®. This collection is made up of 4 varieties called Christmas Rose, Snow Rose, Ice N’ Roses® and Lenten Rose, each with their own unique characteristics. You can learn more about these hellebore varieties here.

4. Prune climbing roses

Climbing roses are great additions to any garden as they can add height as well as bring colour to walls and arches. Over autumn and winter, these roses are dormant so it is the best time to prune them so they are ready for the growing season next year. To prune your climbing roses you only want to prune the side shoots rather than the main framework of stems. The best way to do this is to cut the side shoots down so there are 4 healthy buds, and ensure you cut just above a bud that points in the direction you want your new stem to grow. Then, using some garden twine tie your plant to its support.

5. Water plants sparingly in your greenhouse

Over the winter you want to keep the atmosphere in your greenhouse as dry as possible so that the risk of disease is as low as it can be. The best way to do this is by watering your greenhouse plants sparingly, as well as investing in a greenhouse heater which will help you to control the temperature over the winter.

6. As well as food, put fresh water out for birds daily

We all know how important it is to look out for birds during the winter when their food and water sources are sparse. So as we move into winter make sure you leave some water out for your local birds and remember to check it isn’t frozen over each morning as temperatures drop.

7. Plant winter bedding plants

Are you still looking for ways to add more interest to your garden this season? Planting winter bedding plants such as pansies into hanging baskets are great, quick ways to add colour.

8. Keep your lawn in good condition

Your lawn will grow a lot less over winter, although the weather we are seeing at the moment is rather mild, so you may still have to trim your lawn a little if it gets out of hand. The main jobs to ensure you do over winter to maintain your grass is to remember to regularly remove any fallen leaves from your garden as these will block light and result in areas of dead grass. Also, avoid walking on your lawn when it is covered in heavy frost or snow as this will damage it. Instead, wait until it has thawed before walking over it.

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