Gardener’s Diary December 2021

We are all looking forward to Christmas festivities this year.

Here are some tips for decorating your house with scented foliage, getting the best from your real Christmas tree and jobs to carry out in the garden.

Real Christmas trees:

We have secured our usual UK grown quality trees that we have built our reputation on, call in early, choose and pay for your perfect tree and we can even store it for you in our barn for a later collection. Cut off two inches from the bottom of the main stem, then position the tree away from radiators and open fires.

Add some water to the stand then gently remove the netting from bottom to top. It will drink water and needs topping up each day to avoid needle drop, never let it run dry. We recommend that you choose a needle holding variety such as Nordmanniana.

Decorating your home:

Make use of the evergreen foliage from your garden such as berried holly, laurel, eucalyptus, euonymus and ivy in wreaths or table decorations.

We can make you a mixed foliage and holly or spruce wreath, just call in, place the order and choose your fruits, nuts and ribbon, then you can collect it later on a date to suit you.

Planting & Pruning

Cut down dead autumn flowering perennials. Prune stems of autumn fruiting raspberries. Prune fruit trees and apply a pruning compound to the cut.

Plant fruit and ornamental trees, bushes, shrubs and climbing plants, so long as the ground is not frosty. Move shrubs, conifers or perennials but dig up the whole root and replant treading in well. Add a sprinkle of bone meal to the hole for instant feed, water in well.    

Garden Maintenance

Use bubble polythene or hessian sacks to wrap your outside tap, to stop it freezing up and drain hosepipes of water. Fleece tender plants and terracotta pots to protect from frost damage and raise pots off the floor to allow air to circulate around the pot and avoid it sitting in water.

Do not use bubble polythene to protect plants as it makes them sweat and they become more susceptible to frost damage. Clear pathways and decking of moss, lichen and leaves to avoid slipping. Sharpen blades on secateurs, loppers, hoes and other garden tools and wipe with an oily rag before packing away.


Supply fresh water daily and feed high fat foods such as suet treats and peanuts, seeds and mealworms. Why not treat someone to a wild bird dining station or make up one of our gift hampers with a selection of bird feeders and treats, we will gift wrap it free of charge.


Keep off frosty lawns as walking on the grass will damage it.  Aerate waterlogged areas with a garden fork to improve drainage.

Plants Looking Good This Month

Poinsettia: This plant simply shouts Christmas… the traditional red bract variety is still the best, but other colours are available.

Planted Hyacinth Arrangements: We have a selection of wooden or tin bowls and containers that are planted with prepared hyacinths for Christmas flowering and top dressed with fresh moss or bark and make attractive table centres or gifts.

Topiary Buxus Pyramids/ Balls & Lollipop Bay Trees: These make ideal statements by your entrance door and decorating them with tasteful white lights, cones, cinnamon and orange slices take them to that extra level. Alternatively add some lights to a lovely blue spruce conifer if you prefer.

Camellia: The most popular gift line in shrubs is by far the Camellia, with its attractive glossy foliage and profusion of coloured flower buds, no wonder it’s a favourite!

Tip of the Month:

Dig your vegetable plot and any bare areas of soil. Add some composted farmyard manure, pelleted chicken manure or granular growmore to the ground, this along with the winter frosts break the soil down and fertilize, giving you a much-improved soil to work with come the spring.

Plan your vegetable plot for the coming season, choose your varieties of vegetables, seeds, seed trays, fibre pots, vermiculite and composts.

We have many composts including organic and peat free types  endorsed by the soil association and RHS suitable for vegans.

Book a slot on our online shop for our late-night shopping experience on Wednesday 8th December, with a charity raffle, mulled wine and Father Christmas and shop for Christmas gifts and decorations.

We are closed from 12noon Christmas Eve to Tuesday 4th January, so make sure you stock up on winter essentials such as bird feeds, rock salt, hardwood logs and smokeless coal beforehand.

I thank everyone for their custom this year and wish everyone a Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year…

Written by Craig

Barn Farm Plants, Wardington, Banbury, Oxon OX17 1SN

01295 758080