Jobs for your garden in December
When the garden greenery has died back, you get to see the bare bones of your garden and now is a good opportunity for adjusting or changing your perimeter fences – the backdrop to your spring, summer and autumn display. With bad weather and winter storms causing inevitable damage in some cases, many use this time for repair and maintenance of the structures in the garden. Your choice of fencing material can subtly affect the overall feel of your garden. What kind of look are you aiming for? Does your fencing need to be showy? A willow or hazel fence can give a lovely ‘cottagey’ feel. Panelled fencing can give privacy, but if not chosen carefully can lack elegance. Climbing plants can be grown to hide ugly fences, although most will require some sort of support. If you have a herb or kitchen garden, you may need to keep out the rabbits! A well-constructed fence or wall can provide the perfect frame for your garden, be it ornamental or practical.
Add Compost wherever you see bare earth in the border. Over the winter the worms will drag it down to enrich the soil ready for new growth in the spring.
Prune apple and pear trees while dormant. They are best pruned every winter to ensure a good cycle of fruiting wood. Trees that aren’t pruned become congested with old branches and so less productive. Aim to create an open, goblet shape with four or five main branches at the most. You will need a good pair of secateurs, a pair of loppers and a pruning saw for cutting off larger branches and completely cut out any dead wood
Protect plants vulnerable to frost, for example, Cordylines, and Evergreen Jasmine, by wrapping some fleece (which you can buy in a garden centre) around them. Once they have died back, some perennial plants, such as Penstemons and Verbena Bonariensis, can benefit from an extra mulch to help their roots from freezing.
Wrap insulation around outside taps. Hessian will do but there are products on the market specially for insulating outside taps.