Q – Why does Santa need not one, not two but three gardens?
A – So he can ho! ho! ho!
December is with us once again, it only seems a few weeks since we saw her last. The end of the year immediately followed by the start of another, the great cycle of gardening continues.
This is the time for raiding the garden and bringing inside cuttings and snippings for trailing over sideboards, around pictures and swagging through bannisters. Our home-grown winter harvest provides plastic-free festive decoration that can look as good as it smells when rosemary, bay and pine are included.
December tends to be the month when there are more blooms within than without. Keep your festive houseplants away from direct heat and in a cool, well-lit spot and they’ll reward you with their colour and scent for several weeks. And when summer 2019 arrives most will enjoy a rejuvenating holiday out in the garden. If you don’t yet have any festive houseplants then fear not, we still have some real beauties left.
Our top ten recommended tasks this month include:
- Continue to clear fallen leaves from lawns and from beneath plants. Cram the leaves into bags and punch in a few holes. Then just stack the bags behind the shed (or anywhere else that’s out of sight) and wait for the leaves to turn into valuable leaf mould. So much better than leaving the leaves to provide shelter for slugs and snails.
- If you haven’t already done so, then now is the time to reduce your rose bushes by about a half. This will prevent winter winds from causing damage.
- Plant bare root trees, shrubs and roses. It’s important to keep them well watered as this will encourage the roots to spread out and establish.
- Soft fruit bushes will be dormant now, the perfect time for planting.
- At this time of year garden birds really need your help. Please ensure they have a constant supply of both food and fresh water. Feeders will need to be cleaned regularly to prevent the spread of disease.
- It’s not too late to plant tulips so fill any empty pots. Come late spring you’ll be so pleased with the resulting blooms.
- If it hasn’t arrived already then cold weather is on its way. So, check the greenhouse heater is working, insulate outside taps and make sure you have some winter fleece ready. Floating a football or a plastic bottle filled with a few pebbles will stop the garden pond from completely freezing over.
- Order your seed potatoes so you can start chitting in the New Year. Visit the Suttons website to select from our wide range.
- Winter prune apple and pear trees. Remove any dead or damaged branches and create a nice open shape to allow good airflow. This winter pruning will encourage strong regrowth in spring.
- Still on the subject of pruning, wisteria will now be ready for a trim. Cut the wispy summer-grown shoots back to 2 or 3 buds.
Gifts for Gardeners
On our website, you’ll find a whole host of gifts, simply perfect for the gardener in your life. From bat detectors, bird feeders, metal hens, weathervanes, cheese kits and saucy gnomes – we’ve got Christmas covered! For the loved one who already has everything how about an experience day, such as a river cruise visit to Kew Gardens or a trip to Highgrove? Visit our website or browse our Gift Catalogue for inspiration.
We can deliver to you or direct to the lucky recipient. Although we can’t gift wrap, we can certainly ensure that no price details are enclosed!
Last order date for guaranteed pre-Christmas delivery is 19th December, sooner for personalised items.
If you are struggling to find the perfect gift or if the last order date has come and gone, then panic not! A Suttons Gift Card can deliver your personal message and allow the lucky recipient to choose their own present.
Dare to be Different!
Gardening is rewarding in so many ways. It gets us out in the fresh air, it helps keep us fit, it provides beautiful flowers for the home and of course provides foods on which we can feast. As TV chefs tempt us with more unusual dishes, we here at Suttons are offering unusual ingredients for your edible larder.
Beef and Onion Plant – also known as Chinese mahogany this plant delivers the same taste as a packet of beef and onion crisps. Suitable for meat eaters and vegans alike!
Black Cumin – an attractive ornamental plant producing tiny black cumin seeds with a warm peppery taste.
Peruvian Black Mint – a perfect alternative for those who don’t like coriander, these leaves are perfect for stews, soups and summer salads.
Mexican Tarragon – so much easier to grow than French tarragon but with the same beautiful flavour.
Lemon Grass – expensive to buy yet easy and cheap to sow and grow this culinary herb is widely used in Asian cuisine.
For details of the full James Wong Collection, including these exciting new additions, click here.
Plant of the Month
The Christmas Cactus may well be the definitive festive flower! Their masses of blooms in a combination of colours will add colour and brightness to any festivities and will last long into the New Year when the celebrations are over. A stunning mix of easy to care for colourful flowers growing in a single pot that will look amazing anywhere in the home.