News and announcements from Grosvenor Garden Centre, Chester

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Gardening tips for December

December sweeps in with freezing cold weather and the country recovering from floods. Winter has well and truly arrived!

But what could be better than a saunter around the garden in the crisp air surrounded by frost-laden branches and leaves to truly bring home the meaning of Christmas?

And once you are back indoors warming up with a hot toddy and a cosy fire, you can survey your garden and plan for 2013 – a great excuse to add a gardening diary to your list for Santa!

Spend December digging up old plants that may be past their best and plant new additions in their place.  Rejuvenate the border with different heights of foliage and opt for new colours to try.

Keep that all important fleece handy for colder nights and give your new tender plants the best chance possible with a layer of mulch on their roots.

Helleborus Cinnamon Snow

Helleborus Cinnamon Snow

A Christmas planted container filled with winter flowering blooms such as pansies, heathers, Skimmia Rubella and ‘the Christmas Rose’ itself, Helleborus Niger you will have flowers to admire throughout the festive period.  A perfect gift idea too!

Houseplants synonymous with Christmas are, of course, the much-loved cyclamen and poinsettia.  Add instant festive vibrancy to any room with a number of these striking plants.  They do need plenty of light but are easy to look after and everyone loves to receive one as a gift – so your Christmas shopping is taken care of too!

The traditional Poinsettia in a variety of colours

The traditional Poinsettia in a variety of colours

The orchid is becoming increasingly popular all year round but with such an array of beauty, you cannot go wrong with an orchid as a treat to yourself, a gift from Santa (if you have been good!) or to brighten up any indoor space.

A fresh wreath is a ‘must-have’ on your front door and naturally, a sprig of mistletoe too to welcome guests across your threshold with the spirit of Christmas.

For a sneaky Christmas kiss!

For a sneaky Christmas kiss!

There is nothing like the fragrant scent of a freshly cut Christmas tree to immediately put you in the festive mood.  Or have you cared for your own tree and are now ready to bring the outside in?

The most popular choice amongst our customers here at Grosvenor and with low needle drop is the Nordman, closely followed by the Fraser Fir - highly scented, it will immediately fill your home with a delightful festive aroma. Or why not opt for the Noble Fir with a matt, blue colour.  We also offer a range of container grown Nordman, Noble and Spruce trees that can be transferred to the garden after Christmas.

We all know how cold it is at the moment but please do remember that the birds in your garden need a steady supply of fresh water so please make sure your bird bath does not freeze over.  And keep any bird feeders fully stocked with seeds and nuts. Plants with berries are also a great way to provide birds with a tasty morsel and your Berberis, Holly and Viburnum will not only produce berries, they also provide a fantastic hedged nesting place for birds.

Harvest your homegrown winter vegetables for delicious accompaniments to your Christmas dinner.  Remember to leave parsnips lying on top of the soil to sweeten before bringing inside.  And your festive meal would not be the same without Brussels sprouts!  Love them or hate them, they really are a must have at Christmas time.

And finally, Merry Christmas from everyone here at Grosvenor Garden Centre!

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