Well we are past the shortest day but some of the coldest weather is yet to come. Sweet Pea is about to give you some contradictory advice. Both to tidy up and to leave untidy.
The cold weather is a gardeners friend it helps reduce pests and disease so get out in your garden and tidy away old pots, slabs, ornaments and general rubbish. Cut back all of the woody stems of perennials like phlox. This will prevent a lot of our garden enemies such as slugs and earwigs having somewhere cosy to pass the winter before coming out to renew the onslaught on our planting. Wash all of your old flower pots and make sure the greenhouse and cold frame are clean. Their time is coming up fast. Put some fleece over treasures that may not be fully winter hardy and trim back items that can be damaged by wind and weather.
Our friends and allies in the form of birds (I’m not sure about pigeons though) need all of the assistance we can give them. So leave a few fallen leaves in odd corners. You will see blackbirds constantly raking through them. Do not be hasty to remove anything with berries, even Ivy. They are invaluable food sources and can be left to stand for a month or two yet.
Make sure that the bird tables and feeders are well supplied and don’t forget some fresh water.
Go through your seed collections and be ruthless and throw out anything that is really out of date. Remember you can always get fresh discounted seeds from the Chinnor allotment and Garden Society on Sunday mornings.
Finally, get planning for 2018. What worked, what didn't and what new wonderful things to try this year.
Happy New Year and Good Gardening