December Garden

House & Home

Tom Strowlger


December for us gardeners is about decking the halls with boughs of holly and hanging mistletoe from ceilings whilst listening to the Holly and the Ivy carol. Or is it? It makes us feel warm, cosy and festive enough to settle into a comfortable chair and hibernate the month away. But no, for us gardeners it can be so much more, we can get outside and enjoy the fresh air whilst achieving some jobs in readiness for 2022.

The garden will be in a state of dormancy with evergreen trees, shrubs and hedges giving us the finest of green backdrops. We can use the time to design new borders and beds amongst the evergreens and even plant a few more spring bulbs in before it’s too late. The garden becomes a blank canvas to plan any changes and highlight any gaps to be filled with new plants in the coming months.

We must remember to keep the lawn grass tidy of fallen leaves by raking or leaf vacuuming them up. This reduces the growth and build-up of mossy patches in the darker and damper areas of the garden. It’s a vital job for keeping the lawn grass exposed to daylight and prevent it from withering and dying underneath layers of rotting leaves.

The most festive of sights is the wreath hanging on the front door, particularly one we create ourselves. It takes our gardening experience to the next level, using materials from the garden to be creative. We can create a wreath by collecting in small amounts of ivy, holly and evergreen shrubs and placing the cuttings into a circular piece of floral foam. 

To give the garden a festive and seasonal feel why not hang some outdoor twinkly lights amongst the trees, shrubs and hedges, it will make the garden a magical place over the Christmas season. The sight of twinkling lights amongst wintry scenes will create your very own Christmas card setting in the garden.

I love the Christmas season as it allows us much needed time to reflect on the gardening year just gone and celebrate our achievements. I enjoy simply standing in the garden on Christmas Day, often between Christmas lunch courses, and getting excited about my future gardening plans. So on that thought I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Gardening Year.

Please do follow me on Instagram @garden_with_tom for more seasonal gardening advice and tips.

This month’s top tips:

Continue winter digging and adding compost and mulch to the soil

Keep birdfeeders topped up to support your garden birds

Stop ponds, water features and bird baths from freezing over

Snow might fall, so be sure to shake this off plants, shrubs and hedges

Take a moment in the garden and raise a glass to your achievements