YES. its that time of year again to select and bring home a
Christmas tree for the festive season.
Already Christmas trees of all shapes and sizes are readily
available throughout many garden centres and other outlets.
Whether you choose a Spruce. Pine or Abies Nordmaniana it is
important to keep the tree alive and looking its best
indoors for as long as possible.
Keep rootless trees immersed in a bucket of water and top it
up when necessary. Root balled trees should be planted in a
large pot filled with moist compost at all times and be sure
to get it back outdoors as soon as the festivities have
finished if you want to plant it in the garden and save it
to do the same job next year.
Spare a thought for the wildlife in your garden, as the
winter migrant birds such as the jay and redwing join our
local thrushes and blackbirds who are already feeding on the
berries of cotoneaster and pyracantha. Smaller birds such as
bluetits and robins will appreciate kitchen scraps, nuts,
raisins and bird seed to feed on through the cold winter
Hedera or evergreen ivy makes an excellent hardy
self-clinging plant for covering untidy walls, chimney
breasts, fences or as a ground cover plant. Green leafed
varieties are very shade tolerant and will survive under
drought conditions. They are an ideal plant for a north
facing wall. Variegated ivy prefers more light and may
suffer from wind and frost damage but it will grow well in a
sunny sheltered position.
Ivies may be pruned to remove damaged or untidy growth and
to control the overall height and spread of the plant.
Propagate by soft wood cuttings or layering in late summer.
Small yellow/green flavours appear in autumn soon to be
followed by black fruits.
Hedera canariensis, colchica sulphur heart, gold heart and
buttercup will make excellent climbers providing all year
round colour. The lustrous foliage of holly gives great
pleasure in the garden all year creating focal points with
colourful berries and leaf variations.
When cutting sprigs of holly for indoor decoration try to
enhance the shape of the plant rather than spoil it, even if
you have to leave the ear round.
Remember Christmas only lasts a few weeks but the holly tree
has to look its best all year round.
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