How to make the garden pleasant?
Of course, the garden will not be as lively as it was in May, but a skilful design always includes scalar flowering essences and ornamental elements for the less favourable seasons.
We can prepare pots in which to put cyclamen, violets, hellebores, heather and callune: they are resistant and vegetate even at low temperatures, especially if we are careful to keep them sheltered at night, on a windowsill in the south. In the milder areas the chrysanthemums continue to bloom and the sasanqua camellias begin to bloom, suitable for growing in soil or in pots, the viburnum tinus, the calicanto, the hamamelis and the fructification of the citrus fruits.
We do not underestimate berry essences: botanical or rough roses, holly, pyracantha, domestic nandinas, skimmia, cotoneaster… Of great impact, especially with snow and frost are the ornamental grasses and shrubs with colored bark, such as cornus or some maples.
- During the winter period the plants are at rest. It is therefore the ideal period for planting flowering shrubs in clumps or in pots. We are still in time to plant the bulbous plants in spring flowering…
It is still possible to proceed with the planting of shrubs and trees as long as the temperatures do not fall below 5°C and the soil is fairly dry. To obtain good results, it is good, for bare-root plants, to carry out the planting. It consists of immersing the roots for a few hours in a compound dense with soil, water and a little ‘manure: provides immediate nutrition, as well as deeply rehydrate.
The subjects inserted in the middle of winter can be decimated by the impact of the cold wind on the aerial part. To minimize the damage, it is a good idea to create a hillock with soil that covers a good part of the branches: we will eliminate it when the summer arrives.
In the first decade we can still plant the spring blooming bulbous plants.
Cold protection and general processing
On the outside there is very little to do, especially if we have already prepared the protections and moved the delicate essences inside. If we live in a mild climate we continue to be interested in the weather: waves of frost can happen and you can cover until the last moment with tnt the plants, saving leaves and flowering (very sensitive are the camellias).
In case of heavy snowfall, check the accumulations on the branches and activate ourselves to gently shake them: we will avoid that the excessive weight causes breakages.
In the first decade we are still in time to do treatments with a copper or white oil activated. It is also useful, in cases of severe atacuritus (e.g. cochineal), to brush the bark. It is still possible to make woody cuttings.
The garden in December: Lawn maintenance
In December, there was virtually no growth except in the far south. In general, cutting is not necessary; on the contrary, walking on grass is not recommended, especially after heavy rains or when it is frozen. We would only compact the soil and weaken the seedlings that have already been severely tested by the cold.
On hot days, especially in the first decade, it is important to collect all the leaves carefully: they would accentuate the humidity of the soil and encourage the rooting of cryptogams or rottenness of the root system.
If you have a wood-burning stove at home, remember not to throw away the ashes: it is an excellent fertilizer, rich in phosphorus and potassium. We can distribute it immediately on the lawn or in the flowerbeds.
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