December Garden Page
Already the bulbs are beginning to shoot upwards as though it is spring, they will have a tough time if and when we get a cold snap.
We haven’t had many dry days to get outside to do anything lately and the soil remains constantly waterlogged. However in between the rain and gales I have managed to get outside to do some tidying and clearing away of the rubbish that always seems to fly into my garden and cutting back some of the dead plants, but leaving anything that might be used as shelter for those plants that are hardy enough to still be surviving.
If you can get out you can still be planting deciduous shrubs such as clematis, buddleia, potentilla and hardy fuchsia, also prune back winter flowering shrubs over the flowering is over. Cut suckers from the bottom of trees.
If its mild enough there is still time to plant out roses, and prune in mild or sheltered gardens…..do we have any of those??
Perennials can be divided, such as lupins, delphiniums and Michealmas Daisies Now is a good time to be adding any fertilizers, home grown compost and seaweed.
If you have a problem with birds pecking and eating your crocus buds, stretch dark cotton across sticks around the crocus area.
If you live in a fairly sheltered spot you could put up cloches or frames or polythene (weighted down) to warm up the soil for spring sowing.
If you are looking for plant colour for this time of year then some of the things you can get are, Christmas rose, snowdrops, crocus, winter aconites, dogs tooth violets, winter sweet dogwood, Chinese witch hazel to name but a few, failing that nip down to your local garden centre and see what they have in stock as these may well have been bred and reared here on the island and stand a better chance of survival.
I wish you all a Very Happy Christmas/Solstice and Many Happy Gardening Days in the New Year.
Callanish, December 2007