Gardening tips for December

With the approach of winter the garden takes on an air of quietness. There is an absence of urgency and a more leisurely pace can be taken. Leading up to a well deserved Christmas break.


  • If not frosty plant new Rose bushes
  • Cut back the herbaceous border and mulch thickly with composted bark
  • Put slug pellets around treasured plants, especially Alpines and Bulbs in mild weather
  • Protect delicate evergreens from cold winds by using Horticultural Fleece


  • Still time to plant new fruit bushes if the soil is not frozen
  • Make sure Apples and Pears are pruned by the end of the month


  • Buy seeds now to ensure full availability
  • Net winter vegetables to keep pigeons away


  • Avoid walking on lawns in frosty weather
  • If puddles stay on the lawn spike with a garden fork or an aerator to aid drainage and prevent disease
  • Consider having lawn mowers and strimmers serviced


  • Clear greenhouse gutters of autumn leaves
  • Wash greenhouse glass inside and outside to allow as much light in as possible
  • Line the inside of the greenhouse with bubblewrap to keep plants warmer
  • Do not water plants too much, water when compost is dry
  • Check plants regularly for pests and disease i.e., moulds and fungus
  • Ventilate on warm days

General Tasks

  • Sweep up leaves to make compost
  • Take pumps out of ponds and fountains (drain fountains to prevent splitting)
  • Move patio pots to house wall to give support and protection
  • Cut some stems of viburnum x bodnantense to brighten and perfume the house
  • Ensure outside taps are insulated or drained


Plants at their best

Autumn Cherry (Autumnalis Rosea)
Mahonia, Pernettya varieties
Heath (Erica darleyensis)
Indoor Cyclamen
Non-hardy Azaleas