"The color of springtime is in the flowers; the color of winter is in the imagination. "Terri Guillemets
The fire is lit. A warming glass of mulled wine depends from one hand, while the other turns the pages of the garden catalogue and major plans are afoot for next year’s garden. Traditionally, December is a good time for the obvious reasons to put your gardening feet up and consider what you have achieved, and how your garden will look come spring.
If a busy schedule means your gardening time is limited you may have opted for low maintenance or container planting. If you had a desire for winter colour you may well have planted evergreen trees and statement shrubs that also flower in winter. There’s nothing like dogwoods against a backdrop of a hoar frost or snow and the sight of early flowering Prunus outside the window; and the fragrance of Daphnes come February is a welcoming sign spring is around the corner. Some shrubs can still be planted if the ground is prepared and not frozen.
If your garden over this past year was not looking exactly as you would like to see it, now is a very good time to let your imagination roam around your space and cast your eye over planting schemes in books and magazines. What better time when you can add ‘Of Rhubarb and Roses’ – The Telegraph Book of Gardening, RHS Botany for Gardeners or a year’s subscription to Gardeners’ World to your Christmas list?
- Early flowering decorative cherry such as Prunus incisa kojo-no-mai (it means ‘flight of the butterflies’) bursts forth in February/March.
- Daphne odora aureum marginata and mezereum and Philadelphus will be early bearers of perfume
- Ilex aquifolium J.C.van Tol is an evergreen self-fertile holly that doesn’t need a male pollinator and bears red berries.
- Last planting of trees and shrubs.
- Jobs to do include mending fences, cleaning the greenhouse, checking on plant protection, but then you’ve done all that so put your feet up and see you next year.