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Kingswood Gardening News – December 2017

December in the garden and presents for gardeners.
By Sarah Wilson

In December most of the plants in the garden are green although the brown seed heads of grasses and perennials are still standing despite the high winds. There are however quite a few colourful and scented flowers hidden in sheltered corners providing winter food for bumblebees.

Today I found the following flowers:

  • Mahonia x media “Charity”
  • Rosemarinus officinalis
  • Jasminium nudiflorum
  • Abelia grandiflora
  • Clematis ‘Wisley cream”
  • Lonicera purpusii
  • Helleborus argutifolius
  • Iris unguicularis ‘Mary Barnard’
  • Hesperantha coccinea
  • Primula vulgaris (primroses)
  • Erica carnea (winter heather)
  • Chaenomeles japonica (Japanese quince)

Iris unguicularis

Clematis ‘Wisley cream’

As well as these flowers there are a lot of colourful berries – lots of berries on the holly and Pyracantha but also some more interesting ones such as the lovely navy blue berries on Viburnum davidii, shiny orange berries on Iris Foetidissima, bright red berries on Skimmia and extraordinary orange and pink berries on Euonymous fortunei ‘Emerald and gold’. This shrub has never had berries before and after the last cold spell the leaves have got a very attractive pink tinge. A shrub well worth its place in the garden!


Iris Foetidissima


Euonymous ‘Emerald and gold’

Finally the winter flowering cherry is looking wonderful this year – a mass of pale pink blossom standing out amongst the skeletons of deciduous trees. This tree Prunus subhirtella “Autumnalis’ is a very good choice of tree for the garden in winter.

Prunus subhirtella (winter flowering cherry)

There are some good ideas in the gardening magazines for Christmas gifts for gardeners – some are a bit too “ornamental” though, so if I were putting my Christmas Gift list together I would include:

  • Gardening gloves – any kind that are waterproof
  • A very light and sharp border spade
  • A pair of gardening trousers (expensive but well worth it if you garden in winter)
  • Membership of the RHS
  • A garden centre voucher (so you can choose your own plants)
  • Garden labels, felt tip pens and twine
  • A good pair of secateurs or garden “snips”
  • Gardeners hand cream or barrier cream
  • A large plastic “tub trug”

The RSPB have advised that you should avoid buying bird boxes made of china, or metal or brightly painted as these may not afford enough protection for the birds or may attract predators.

I have never met a real gardener who really wanted flowery tea towels, pink dungarees or tiny little gardening scissors!

Have a happy Christmas and don’t forget to feed the birds!


Dr Sarah Wilson, a long time resident in The Warren, regularly opens her garden in the summer months with the National Garden Scheme.

To contact Sarah please click here

Kingswood Gardening News – September 2017

Shrubs with autumn colour and lessons learned from this summer in my garden. By Sarah Wilson As we approach autumn we look forward to the reds and oranges of our trees and the berries of late summer but do you have any shrubs, which are at their best in late summer?  In my garden are […] Continue reading →

Kingswood Gardening News – August 2017

High summer in your garden By Sarah Wilson Many thanks to everyone who helped or visited our garden this summer – over the summer we have made £1800 for the NGS and £825 for the Childrens Trust. The NGS supports a number of charities including Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Parkinson’s UK and the MS […] Continue reading →

Kingswood Gardening News – July 2017

Midsummer Jottings By Sarah Wilson July and August colour I was anxious that for my open garden on Sunday there wouldn’t be much colour in the garden as I rely on shrubs and perennials for colour and only had a few non-hardy plants such as scented Pelargonium in pots. I needn’t have worried because I […] Continue reading →

Kingswood Gardening News – June 2017

June in your garden – Plenty of poppies and roses By Sarah Wilson May was a month of very strange weather – and June has not been “blazing” so far. As I write this there is gale blowing with the promise of heavy rain and an overnight temperature of 10 degrees. During the month of […] Continue reading →

Kingswood Gardening News – May 2017

May – the beginning of summer? By Sarah Wilson April was a strange month – hot days, frost at night and virtually no rain.  I recorded a maximum temperature of 27 degrees and a minimum night temperature of -3 degrees and an unbelievable 7mm of rain, which was all in the first and last week […] Continue reading →