After all the wet & stormy weather we have had to put up with during November when it has hardly been possible to go out in the garden we should now be due some mild sunny days.The Festive Month of December often offers such days when various jobs can be tackled in the garden without being dressed in arctic weather attire.Understandably the tips being offered this month are limited.
The cold weather has few advantages but here is one.Any remaining leaves can now be swept up and the garden tidied before Christmas.The leaves will have been dried out by the cold making them easy for collection and burning if you have a garden incinerator.Cold also gets rid of a lot of unwanted bugs and pests.
If the ground is not too hard winter digging either the hard way with a spade/fork or somewhat easier with a cordless rotavator will save you time and energy in the New Year.This may be difficult with the ground currently so hard but if we get a few consecutive milder days you could dig over the empty vegetable beds which will then add oxygen to the soil and prevent compaction. Sharp well oiled tools are a must.
Following a heavy layering of snow make sure that you knock off as much as possible to avoid branches breaking off with the wight of the snow.Suprisingly there are some plants and shrubs that survive the cold well so you need not worry too much about viburnums hellebores wisteria sinensis and some hydrangeas but make sure you leave the dead heads on as protection. Cordyline palms especially if mature should be alright - the last time my palms were decimated was 1987.
Greenhouse - clean out any remaining crops and wash down the glazing and staging work surfaces.An effective but cheap cleaning solution is to mix into a hot bucket of water a bottle of cheap vinegar with a dash of washing up liquid.If you have a larger greenhouse make sure you tackle it in stages wiping down to dry before moving on to the next section.
Protect plants and pots from frost by bringing them indoors or by wrapping them in horticultural fleece.For larger ornamental pots and urns containing plants an old blanket or rug will suffice.
Feed the birds. Keep the feeder well stocked and out of reach of predators.You may wish to offer a selection of different foods which would attract a variety of birds and you can then monitor which foods your garden birds prefer.There is still time to buy one of our sturdy wooden bird tables which also make for a generous Christmas present. https://www.heritagegardens.co.uk/products/laverton-bird-table
Finally if all else fails and you can't face going in the garden there is a huge range of gardening books to browse or study to give you inspiration for next year.
Wishing you a Happy Christmas and Enjoyable Gardening in 2020 !