December in the garden: Put your feet up, and dream green!

 

December can be a quiet month in the garden, but there are a few worthwhile things you can do at this time of the year. After you’ve ordered your seeds for next year, cut back shrubs, pruned trees and generally tidied things up, take a moment to enjoy the beautiful frosty mornings, and spare a thought for the wildlife that lives there too.

 

  • Look after the birds: Clean feeders, stock up on seeds and nuts, and make sure birds have access to fresh water, especially on icy days.

  • Avoid pesticides (1): Hang feeders near roses to attract hungry birds that will also pick off any overwintering pests.

  • Avoid pesticides (2): Remove netting from fruit cages to allow birds to scratch about for pests.

  • Frozen pond? Don’t be tempted to smash the ice with a spade as the shock waves could kill fish or other wildlife. Create a breathing hole by putting a rubber ball in the water before it freezes, removing it once ice forms.

  • Remember pond life:  When scooping out fallen leaves first place them on the side so the inhabitants can crawl back in. The partially rotted leaves are great for the compost bin.

  • No compost bin? Why not buy one now, or better still, make one out of pallets or old planks of wood. This is a great way to warm up on a cold winter’s day!

  • Save your back: Just dig over empty borders to remove any weeds and then pile manure on top and let the worms and frosts do all the work of breaking up the clods of soil!    

  • Can’t be bothered to dispose of all those cuttings and trimmed branches? Make a pile of old sticks and logs in an undisturbed corner of the garden to provide shelter for toads and other wildlife.

  • Don’t throw away bubble wrap from those Amazon deliveries! Wrap it around terracotta pots to prevent them from cracking in freezing weather if you’re unable to bring them indoors.    

  • Who doesn’t eat Quality Street chocolates at Christmas? Don’t bin the wrappers! Nowadays they’re made from cellulose, derived from wood pulp, so add them to your compost heap. Use the compost to grow healthy veg next year and shed those pounds after the excesses of…eating too many Quality Streets!

 

The EGC committee wishes everyone a lovely Christmas, and may 2021 be fruitful for you all.

 

Mark Ivaldi

Treasurer