Waking up to chilly frosty morning is certainly a shock to the system even for an avid gardener like me, but once that sun has been out for a while it feels great to be out and about. I love the way the frost coats the stems and branches of shrubs and trees and how it creates a glistening sheen on the evergreen leaves. The evergreen leaves always seem to look as if they’re sulking first thing in the morning until the sun warms and perks them up.
There’s still time to get those last plants in as long as the ground isn’t frozen or too wet and it’s a good opportunity to fill any gaps in your hedge if you have one with some bare root hedging while the ground is easier to dig.
One tree many of us will be planting this season is the Christmas tree. I don’t think it matters whether it’s a real or artificial, dressed up they all look good, but if I had the room I’d love to plant a real one in my garden and light it up each year. It wouldn’t be a typical Christmas tree like the Norwegian Spruce, but Picea orientalis ‘Aurea’, the Golden Oriental Spruce. I was admiring a young one a week or so ago, just a metre or so high. It has a conical shape with an irregular habit, giving it character. It’s very attractive with creamy yellow spring growth that fades to green by late summer and its ultimate height is about 10 metres. It has the R.H.S. Award of Garden Merit.
I really enjoy looking at the way people decorate the outside of their houses and gardens for the festive season, there seems to be a few more every year. A beautifully decorated wreath hanging on the door looks so warm and inviting. The animated Christmas characters and flashing lights give a warm glow to the chilly nights. A set of outdoor lights wrapped around the branches of a low tree or large shrub in the garden looks great and adds to the festive air.
Just as gardens are going to sleep for the winter, the Christmas decorations will keep some of them awake for a little bit longer.