Classic and Contemporary Garden Designs

23Dec, 2017

West Somerton – December

As we head into the festive season (but not before 1st week of December, in our house at least) keen gardeners will still be finding plenty to do outside. The first rose pruning can be started now – remove dead, diseased and damaged branches (including branches that are rubbing together), tie in new growth (on climbing roses) and take back long side shoots by two thirds their length.

The main aim at this time of year is to tidy up the plant and prevent wind damage before the main rose pruning season in late winter, early spring. Finish the job by clearing leaves from the base of the plant and add mulch generously.
Following on from my previous article relating to planting Tulips, over the last week or so at the Vicarage Gardens (my Friday job!), the gardening team and I have been hard at work planting hyacinths and tulips in the huge decorative planters for which the East Ruston gardens have become well known.

The author planting huge pots with scented hyacinths and tulips for a magnificent spring display.

For those days when you really can’t face working in the garden (although, as my wife says ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing’) there are always ‘indoor outdoor’ jobs including oiling and sharpening your cutting tool such as secateurs, shears and loppers and cleaning and disinfecting your greenhouse, a much overlooked job, but one that will ensure your plants receive maximum light and reduces pests and diseases.

Finally, it wouldn’t be the Christmas edition of Gardener’s Corner without some Christmas present suggestions for any family gardening enthusiasts. Why not buy a new pair of secateurs and belt or even a lovely new pruning saw (Silky saws are extremely effective and very sharp). Despite the literally overwhelming amount of gardening advice on the internet, nothing beats a really good gardening book. For anyone looking to make major changes to their garden, I would strongly recommend ‘The Essential Garden Design Workbook’ by Rosemary Alexander (revised 3rd edition) or for a seasonal treat try ‘The Winter Garden (Hillier Gardener Guide) providing fantastic ideas for winter colour and scent.

I wish all my readers an energetic Xmas and hardworking New Year, and remember, never go into the garden without your secateurs!

For any practical assistance or advice feel free to give me a call (07801 252 972) or email

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