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Great gardening gifts

All Areas > Homes & Gardens > In the Garden

Author: Julia Smith, Posted: Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 09:00

Christmas always seems to come around so quickly and this year has flown by! After spending the festive season in lockdown in 2020, we’re looking forward to marking Christmas properly this year!

If you’re trying to think of last minute gifts for your family and friends who may have got the gardening bug during the last year or so, why not give them a project to get their teeth into?

Create an affordable living feature wall

Growing Revolution sell troughs made from recycled plastic that stack against the wall and contain a self-watering feature. They are amazing when planted with either ornamental plants or used for vegetables or fruit, like strawberries. They can also be used inside the house to make a feature green wall at a very affordable price.

High quality garden tools are always well-received. Sarah Raven does a nice range of mid-handled tools, which are ideal for sorting out crowded borders where a large fork or spade might damage some plants.

If your family member or friend is more into interior gardening, perhaps a nice house plant might be welcomed? You can find lovely house plants in most garden centres and, if the recipient is not really up to caring for anything alive, you could always get a faux plant. Some look so real that unsuspecting people end up watering them!

Prune your fruit trees

Now to get back to your December garden duties. Prune apple and pear trees when you fancy spending some time outside to get away from the television and the festive chocolates. Cut this year’s whippy stems back to leave about five buds on each, and take out crossing or damaged branches. It is a good idea to apply some slow-release general fertiliser to the ground around the root area to give it a boost.

Plant rhubarb for crumbles and pies

December is a good time to plant new rhubarb, or to divide large clumps. Those of you who follow this column will get fed up of me singing the praises of rhubarb, but it is a wonderful thing to grow. It not only looks amazing with its huge leaves, but it will provide you with the makings of pies and crumbles, or just the joy of picking a stick and dipping the end in sugar. I’m sure this is not something that one should encourage children to do nowadays, but I loved it!

Hard prune late flowering clematis such as C. viticella, texensis and tangutica species and their hybrids. Cut back to near ground level above a strong pair of buds on each stem and get rid of the tangle of growth above. Don’t prune spring-flowering clematis now or you will lose next year’s flowers.

Here’s to a Happy Christmas and a healthy New Year!

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