Winter jobs for December

Poinsettia with its brightly coloured bracts in red, cream or pink are our most popular Christmas pot plant and it looked after they will give a colourful display through the festive period. They dislike cold conditions, so when buying one from a shop or garden centre, make sure the plant is wrapped up to protect it from the cold. Once home, stand it in a warm, light position and keep the compost moist at all times.

If you are looking for a winter houseplant that prefers cooler conditions, cyclamen fits the bit perfectly. They thrive in a cool, light position where they can flower for several weeks or even months

Don’t forget to feed the birds regularly during the winter months and make sure they have a clean supply of drinking water.

Trees can continue to be planted all through the winter months as long as the soil isn’t frozen or waterlogged. Even though the tree is dormant, the rots continue to grow slowly and planting now really helps to establish the tree before growth starts in spring.

Nothing beats the smell of a real Christmas tree in the house over Christmas

Winter vegetables such as Curly kale, winter cabbage and leeks are at their best now and will withstand very frosty conditions. To plan ahead for Christmas you can harvest your vegetables a few days before you need them and store them in cool shed until you need them.

For a simple, easy to make outdoor decoration, collect a selection of evergreen foliage and berries from the garden and  arrange them informally in a large container filled with water.