The pace of gardening in December really slows down. Take some time out to enjoy the garden. There is still a lot of colour and interest to be found outside. Protect any vulnerable plants by wrapping fleece or moving under cover.
If the weather has been windy make sure that newly planted trees, shrubs and roses have not loosened in the soil. Gaps around the roots will dry them out. If this happens pack some soil into the gaps.
If there are has been snowfall shake this off trees, shrubs, hedges and roses. The weight of snow on plants can damage them.
PESTS & DISEASES:
Check plants in containers. If fallen leaves gather around the base of the plants this can encourage disease but also hibernation areas for pests. Leaves on lawns should also be gathered up as these can prevent light from getting to the lawn but also could cause disease.
Try and avoid walking on wet lawns and definitely no walking on frosted lawns. There should certainly be no lawn mowing. If you do need to walk on the lawn our suggestion would be to put some scaffolding planks down and walk on those. Your Autumn lawn feed should have been done by now but if you want a really green lawn we advise on using a fertilizer that is low on nitrogen but has a good amount of potassium and iron. Use this from now until Spring.
Remove any dead or diseased wood from plants
It is a good time of the year to prune and shape ornamental deciduous trees as they have lost their leaves and are now dormant. The same applies to ornamental deciduous shrubs. Remember it is good for plants to have air going through them.
Lily bulbs can still be planted in containers to give successive colour through spring.
If the ground is not frozen solid there is still time to plant trees, shrubs, hedges and bare root roses. Many of these will be available as either root ball or bare root which will make them cheaper. Make sure trees are well staked to prevent them from rocking during the winter winds.
If the soil conditions allow, deciduous trees, shrubs, climbers or herbaceous perennials can be moved but make sure to take as large a root ball as possible.
RUNWAY PLANTS FOR DECEMBER
Acer palmatum ‘Sango-Kaku’
Betula utilis ‘Jacqumontii’
Prunus serrula var. tibetica
Tillia cordata ‘Winter Orange’
Chimonanthus praecox ‘Sunburst’
Choisya ‘Aztec Pearl’
Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’
Cornus sericea ‘Falviramea’
Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Flame’
Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’
Grevillea ‘Canberra Gem’
Hamamelis x intermedia
Ilex x altaclerensis ‘Camelliifolia’
Mahonia x media ‘Charity’
Phormium ‘Apricot Queen’
Pittosporum tobira nanum
Pyracantha ‘Saphyr Rouge’
Sarcococca hookeriana var digyna
Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’
Clematis armandii ‘Apple Blossom’