This time of year we are all busy preparing for Christmas. The focus is more on indoors, rather then the garden. There is certainly less to do outside this time of year, but dont forget the garden also needs to look the part.
Start by cutting back overgrown shrubs and plants and turning over the soil in the borders, removing any weeds. Carry on watering the plants on a regular basis, however, during days of continual rain, switch off the irrigation system. This will both save water and avoid the plants becoming waterlogged. Now is the time to enjoy planting up winter seedlings; Pansies and Petunias are perfect for this time of year.
If you have a vegetable garden, now is also the time for putting in your cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, carrots and peppers.
Another Christmas favourite are Poinsettias, these add an instant splash of colour to your garden. Why not try planting them along pathways, in containers or on the patio, especially near the entrance to your home. Poinsettias are particularly good for hanging baskets. Christmas is a well loved holiday and nothing reflects this more than a beautifully decorated home. Flower arrangements can be made up using seasonal plants like Ivy, Holly, Hypericum berries or red berried Skimmia. Try using a variety of different containers for effect, such as ceramic, glass or silver. Fresh flower arrangements are always nice to see and appreciated by your guests upon entering your hallway.
If you are making a Christmas wreath it may be better to use silk flowers, as fresh flowers will have a very limited life span. Start by deciding your colour scheme, taking into consideration where it will be placed; most are hung by the front door or on the dinning room table. Table arrangements should include candle holders and the traditional colours for these are red, gold, silver or green. Select some other traditional decorations, like angels, bells, pine cones or lanterns; place these artistically at intervals around the wreath and finish off with a ribbon.
When choosing the all important Christmas tree select the freshest tree possible. Look for a tree that has a fresh smell, vibrant colour and is not already dropping its needles. Choose from Scotch pine or a Norwegian Spruce, which are usually the most popular.
After cutting an inch from the trunk, stand the tree in a stand that holds at least 5 litres of water and remember to add water to the tree everyday. You can further sustain the life span of your tree by keeping it away from any source of heat. Then, get the family together and have fun decorating the tree!