The Gardener's Journal is a free monthly gardening guide delivered direct to your inbox.

Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Friday 7 December 2012

This Month In Your Garden - DECEMBER

Light a fire, settle down with your own gardener’s journal, some new season catalogues and reflect on your gardening year. 

This is an ideal time to plan for the coming year but it’s also a good time to consider how last year’s planting went and how good the garden is looking even now, in the depths of winter. 

Does the garden have form and composition? Did you plant some trees and shrubs that flower in winter or provide interest with the colour of their bark or berries. 

The Lawn Care Guide - DECEMBER

Snow can damage your lawn as it shuts out light and causes the leaves to yellow. It also prevents air circulation and the drying effect of the wind. Result: there is a lot more moisture to be absorbed and the lawn is more susceptible to fungal disease. 

Spiking and aerating in earlier months will have had a beneficial effect and indeed, spiking can be done as the snow clears if the ground is not too frozen. Treatment with some high potassium (K) fertiliser will help. 

The Vegetable Plot - DECEMBER

As with the rest of the garden it’s a good time to plan for the growing season. You might consider mini-vegetables as a colourful addition to your vegetable crop. They look good on the plate and you’ll save a lot on buying them from the supermarket. 

Continue to force rhubarb and seakale and blanch chicory. If you like to have some mustard and cress you can make some successional sowings in a heated greenhouse or frame. 

The Big Glut Recipe - DECEMBER

December’s Braised Celery Vinaigrette

Around the festive season there will be plenty of cold cuts of poultry and game birds or vegetarian dishes that will be complemented by this braised celery, served hot or warm. 


  • A casserole with a lid 
  • 3 heads of celery 
  • 425ml (15fl oz) vegetable stock 
  • 150ml (5floz) dry white wine 
  • Zest of a ¼ of a lemon 
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed 
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper 
For the vinaigrette:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1tbsp lemon juice 
  • 2tbsp chopped parsley 
  • ½ teaspoon mixed pepper berries, crushed