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December In Your Garden

Now is the time to do any garden daydreaming and redesigning…on paper of course. Peruse seed and plant catalogues and check out websites (ours too) for plant information. We carry an excellent variety of seeds in the New Year. Take special note at this time of year for plants for outstanding form and winter interest. VanDusen and UBC botanical gardens as is Langley’s own Sendall Gardens, are excellent resources and just as interesting in the winter.

  • There is still time to plant larger trees and shrubs. They can be planted as long as the ground is not frozen. Water in well even though soil may be wet to get rid of any potential frost pockets.

  • Check garden drainage, note problem spots.

  • Continue basic garden tidy, but don’t go overboard. Overwintering native bees and other pollinators often make homes in the hollow cavities of spent woody perennials such as Echinacea and Rudbeckia.

  • Spread any compost, mulch or manure if you didn’t find a dry day to do it in November.

  • Top-dress blueberry plants with sawdust, bark chips (not cedar) or pine needles.

  • Check perennial beds near large trees for tree roots. Cut interfering roots with sharp spade.

  • Check Dahlias in storage, if shriveled immerse in tepid water overnight, dry thoroughly and replace in peat or vermiculite.

  • Still time to plant bulbs now if November was too rainy to get out in the garden!

  • Clean out and ready bird feeders. Pick up wild bird seed and suet treats so you’ll be ready when the snow comes if this year is anything like last year. If you’re feeling crafty make pinecone peanut butter seed balls by slathering peanut butter onto a pinecone and rolling in wild bird seed.

  • Drain and bring in hoses so they don’t freeze.

  • Now that we’ve had some nice windstorms, collect pine and fir boughs to green up your outdoor pots or make swags or wreaths. We’ve got lots of bundled greenery as well as curly willow and twig dogwood for your pots or wreaths.

  • Now is a good time to do some light pruning of your grape vines…they make awesome wreaths as well.

  • You can do a light pruning of roses and finish the rest in February. You can thin Hydrangeas and forsythias removing up to one third of the oldest canes or branches right to the base.

  • Pick bunches of Sage, Parsley, Rosemary and Thyme or any others that you’ll use during the holidays to dry inside so they’ll be ready for cooking.

  • Cover Gunnera with its own leaves and pine boughs.

  • Rake up any remaining leaves from the lawn to avoid dead patches.

  • Continue to clean any rotting vegetation from ponds. If you have fish, make sure you have a pond heater to keep a small portion free from ice to allow gas and oxygen exchange.

  • Keep and eye out for Viburnum bodnatense Pink Dawn and Hellebore varieties which are just coming into bloom!

    Relax, put your feet up and have a cup of tea or maybe even an eggnog!

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