The 12 gardening tips of Christmas

Okay, so if you’re wondering what to do in the garden at Christmas, here are our 12 tips to make the festive season special and absolutely none of them involve queueing, alcohol or recipes for vegan sausage meat. 1. Bring your garden birds close up. Hang your bird feeders right up against your kitchen window; your reward will be thrilling close up views of all sorts of tits and finches and maybe even a nuthatch or, on red letter days, a spotted woodpecker. To make them safe from the swooping sparrowhawks place a protective shield of bamboo canes around the...

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Euphorbia x pasteurii ‘John Phillips’ AGM

In the summer months, they are mostly background, but when winter comes, they are backbone. From now on, evergreen shrubs become more and more important as the last remaining leaves of deciduous plants fall to earth. Coloured stems, bare twigs, and silhouettes of trees, all play their part in the winter garden, as do the many highly scented flowers that come into their own as the new year unfolds; but right now, the evergreen shrubs hold centre stage, and none does it better than my special plant this week. It is a truly garden–worthy plant: architectural, robust and vigorous, and...

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Hardwood cuttings and hellebores – Grow-how Tips For December

There are some easy and calming garden tasks such as taking hardwood cuttings, tidying hellebores and pruning apple-trees that will provide a short escape from the mad and panicky festive fray that is now upon us,  and this is how to do them: HARDWOOD CUTTINGS Here is a very satisfying and simple way to make more of your favourite shrubs. You do need a bit of patience because these cuttings are unlikely to create a decent root system in less than a year, but honestly, it’s a doddle. Oh my goodness, there are SO many candidates for your attention: for example,...

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Growbags’ must-have Christmas present

So you need to organise that one special horticultural Christmas gift …. and luckily we three Growbags are here to guide you to a choice that will be a lasting monument to your fine taste and thoughtfulness. So, before E wades in with a compost aerator, or C suggests shares in that singing reindeer she spotted at Dobbies last week, let me put forward a much sexier proposition: a lemon tree. Honestly, they have so many beguiling and evocative properties that you are practically giftwrapping your friend/partner/relative their own little piece of  the Mediterranean, guaranteed to be greeted with squeals...

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