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Festive fun in your winter garden

All Areas > Homes & Gardens > In the Garden

Author: Julia Smith, Posted: Monday, 30th November 2020, 09:00

Can you believe that December is here already?! As I write this article it is unseasonably mild and the thought of crisp, cold weather is actually very appealing.

The good side of this mild weather is that it extends the window of planting, so things can be chopped and changed in the border and work can carry on – actually that could also be the bad side, especially if you are looking forward to hanging up the spade for a few weeks and sitting cosily indoors leafing idly through seed catalogues!

Look after your Christmas tree

If you buy a real Christmas tree, saw off the bottom few inches when you get it home as you would with cut flowers and put the base in a container of water. You will probably find that after a few days the water doesn’t get taken up – if this were a bunch of flowers you could cut a bit more off the stems, but this is not practical with a 6ft tree so it will start drying up from this time. It will still give you a couple of weeks though.

Poinsettias are on sale everywhere this month. They originate from Mexico and like warm, dry, draught-free conditions. They are better bought from somewhere indoors like a garden centre, as standing on a cold market stall outside will do them no good at all.

They are very difficult to bring through to next Christmas and need strange things like being kept in the dark for a time and brought into the light for another spell. To be honest life is too short, so I would say enjoy them now and send them to the big compost heap in the sky in the new year!

I think that one of the ways we are changing in the use of our outdoor spaces is that people want to use them all year round. Especially at this point in time where we’re not able to get away, lots of people want to escape their four walls and have some time outside, even if they’re limited to their garden.

Toast marshmallows and drink hot chocolate

A veranda is a useful area to keep rain off but still to be outside. There are plenty of gas powered heaters to enable the garden to be used in the winter, or the clay chimineas or firepits which use dry logs. The idea of cooking sausages or soup outside and sitting around drinking hot chocolate and toasting marshmallows over the BBQ wrapped in rugs sounds very appealing. Obviously in any smokeless zones rules must be adhered to, as well as social distancing regulations.

Happy Christmas and good gardening to you all!

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