The last few days of November saw a sudden drop in temperature, with early morning frosts lasting much of the day, but bright blue December skies and plenty of sunshine are giving a wonderful sparkle to grasses and seed heads.
1. Remember the birds, they’re feeling the winter chill and really do need our help. Keep feeders full and hang them in safe places – under tree canopies or near shrubs and other cover, to protect them from predators.
2. Keep bird baths and water containers clean and provide fresh water, especially in freezing conditions.
3. If you have box blight in the garden fungicide treatments will have little effect through the winter, but do remove the fallen, diseased leaves asap. A good mulch will help reduce water splash, which is one of the main methods by which the diseases spreads.
4. Keep planting spring bulbs if the ground isn’t frozen.
5. Some clearing of fallen leaves amongst the borders may be needed, but be careful you don’t disturb hibernating frogs and toads.
6. Store hoses and watering equipment in frost free places.
7. Stand your Christmas tree in a bucket of water until it’s time to bring it inside, it will still take up water even without roots.
8. Enjoy looking through gardening magazines and planning for the spring; look at how you could introduce more plants which are good for pollinators, especially bees.