On sunny, fresh days there's nowhere better to be than in your garden. Wrap up warm and enjoy being outside.
Garden centres go Christmas-crazy in December but there's still some real gardening to be done this month.
Cutting back on plastic pots and peat is incredibly important to protect the environment. Bare-root plants manage to do both as they're simply dug up from a field before being sent to you. Hedging, fruit plants, roses and trees are all commonly sold this way during the dormant season from November to March when deciduous plants naturally lose their leaves. Look out for specialist plant nurseries that sell plants this way, such as and .
The damp weather and mucky surfaces combine to make paths, patios and decking like ice rinks at the time of year. Before anyone has an accident, pick up an autumn leaves and then clean the hard surface with a pressure washer to blast off all the muck.
There are some plants at their best during the winter months so take advantage by having them in your garden. Dogwoods (cornus) have colourful bare stems in shades including red, orange, lime and black. For ghostly silvery stems, try Rubus tibetanus. They all look wonderful against dark-green evergreens. Snowdrops and hellebores will all be flowering soon. You may not notice the small white flowers of sarcococca but their sweet perfume will grab your attention as you walk past. Look out for them at the garden centre or from online plant retailers, such as .
Watching the birds in your garden is a real pleasure and feeding them is the best way to encourage them to visit. Don't put out too much food at once so it doesn't go bad, but do feed regularly so they know they can rely on you. Clean the feeder regularly too to avoid disease spreading. They also need water so put out a bird bath for them to drink and wash in.
Now's a great time to think ahead and decide which seeds and plants you want to grow next year. Order early and you should get yours before the rush next spring. tests varieties of both flowers and veg to find Best Buy performers that will flower for ages or produce delicious crops.