Here is our round-up of news, tips and ideas to make the most of your garden!
December is one of the quietest months in the garden, as thoughts turn naturally to country walks, Christmas and cosy evenings in front of the fire.
However, there are still jobs to be done and our centres are open for gardening essentials, landscaping, firewood and fencing, as well as Christmas trees, wreaths and accessories, which are now on sale at Midgley!
Here at Earnshaws we normally focus on your outside space, but at this time of year it’s all about bringing the greenery into your home!
Our local Christmas Tree plantations have been carefully managed throughout the year and are now filled with trees ready to be taken home. To work out whether our Nordmann Fir or Norway Spruce is the tree for you, take a look at our helpful infographic here!
Visit our Midgley centre from 26th November to browse our range of trees, as well as our traditional wreaths and small gifts.
Did you know a real tree uses 10 times fewer materials and five times less energy than an artificial tree, so buy real and you’re doing your bit for the environment – and they make your home smell wonderful!
Before visiting us to select your tree, be sure to measure the space that is allocated for it in your home. Once you have found your perfect tree, make it last even longer with these top tips:
• Your tree will last longer with more water, so it is advisable to saw 5cm off the base and leave your tree outside in a bucket of water overnight.
• When bringing your tree inside, use a stand which holds water and keep it topped up throughout Christmas.
• Keep your tree away from direct heat, namely radiators and open fires.
National Tree Week is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration.
Each year, the country’s conservation sector, volunteer groups and tree-lovers come together to plant thousands of trees to mark the start of the annual tree planting season.
National Tree Week 2022 will take place from 26 November – 4 December 2022.
Discover more or get involved here.
Growing the various elements of the perfect Christmas dinner in your own garden is achievable no matter how little space you have. Planting slow-growing crops throughout 2023 will mean that they’ll be perfect in time for Christmas!
Potatoes can be grown in containers, making them ideal for smaller spaces. Good Christmas varieties include Maris Peers, Charlotte, and Duke of York. They will take about 12 weeks to become mature enough to harvest, so August is a good time to plant.
Most parsnip varieties, such as Palace F1, should be grown between February and May, once the weather has warmed up slightly, for harvest between October and Christmas Day. Sow the seeds 15cm apart and 2cm deep, in rows that have 30cm between them.
Store in a cool, dark, well ventilated environment, or keep them stored in the ground where they were grown but add horticultural fleece for protection from frost.
This aromatic herb is a Christmas must-have. It can be grown from seeds, by sowing them into small pots and adding a layer of permite, which improves aeration and promotes quicker germination. Sow the seeds around April to guarantee a strong-smelling plant in time for Christmas. Water regularly but do not overwater.
Another Christmas staple, create the perfect homemade cranberry sauce by ideally using rooted seedlings and planting one cutting per square foot. They prefer acidic soil so it’s best to water with rainwater. Pick the fruits around October, leaving plenty of time to create a delicious cranberry sauce!
Many creatures go into hibernation at this time of year, including insects and other invertebrates. So, avoid cutting long grass or disrupting compost heaps and leaf piles until spring in order to avoid disturbing them.
Some wildlife will still be out and about looking for food during the short daylight hours.
For birds, leave out suet treats, seeds, nuts and fresh water to help keep them warm throughout the colder months. Slightly milder regions may still be getting visits from hedgehogs, so it’s beneficial to leave food out at night until it is no longer being taken.
To help the wildlife in your garden, why not take a look at our birdcare and wildlife product range?
We’ve been busy cutting and splitting our hardwood and softwood logs, giving them plenty of time to season to ensure they are as efficient as possible when burning. To continue seasoning your firewood at home, our high-quality timber log stores offer the perfect storage solution!
With new government regulations in place, domestic firewood usage has changed. Now, firewood must be seasoned until it has a moisture level of 20% or below prior to burning. Moisture level meters, such as the Manor Moisture Meter which is now available from each of our centres, allow you to burn your firewood with confidence.
However, not everyone has the space nor the time to season their own logs. That’s why we have a large stock of kiln dried logs at all of our centres, ready for immediate burning.
With an Earnshaws Loyalty Card, you can take advantage of our special offer of 10 bags for £74.99!
Visit any of our centres to stock up on firewood, kindling, and fireside accessories, or have a transit loose load of hardwood or softwood logs delivered to your home from our Midgley centre!
Click here to view our Midgley firewood delivery zones.
On cold December days, it’s very tempting to stay inside with the telly. However, here are some good reasons to get out into the fresh air in the run up to the festive period.
• Check that stakes and ties are strong enough to withstand the winter gales.
• If you haven’t already, move your potted plants to a sheltered spot to protect them from the winter weather.
• Place a football on the surface of your pond before it freezes to ensure there is an air hole for pond creatures and brush off snow that falls onto the ice to allow light through and prevent deoxygenation.
• Clear faded perennials. This job should be left until as late as possible in December, but now is a great time for removing faded perennials. If you can, leave the debris in a pile in a quiet part of your garden as a place for insects to stay.
• Winter pruning. While many plants benefit from pruning, it’s important to do so at the right time of year. During December, much of the garden is dormant, and roses, deciduous shrubs, grapevines, wisteria, fruit bushes, and deciduous ornamental trees all benefit from being cut back and trained. Be sure to use a pair of sharp secateurs.
• Plant bulbs. Plant any remaining spring bulbs in pots and gaps in borders, ensuring the holes are three times as deep as the bulbs. Tulips, daffodils and grape hyacinths can all be planted now.
• Create beautiful hanging baskets. Pansies, trailing ivy, and primroses can all be planting into hanging baskets to create colourful displays around your home.
• Add netting where necessary. Protect your winter crops, such as kale, from birds by covering them with netting.
• Keep lawns leaf-free. Grass needs as much light as possible at this time of year, as well as good air circulation. Therefore, regularly raking lawns to remove leaves will keep the grass in much better condition.
• Plant trees and shrubs. October to April is the best time for planting trees and shrubs. Dig a hole that is no deeper than the roots but three times the diameter. Soak bare root trees or shrubs for about 30 minutes before planting.
• Throughout the winter months it can be difficult for wildlife to find water that hasn’t been impacted by the freezing temperatures. Keep checking your bird baths, ponds, and other water sources. Discover our bird care range here.
• When it finally gets too cold to be outside, grab that mince pie and start ordering your flower and vegetable seeds in preparation for next year!
Visit 20 of the most beautiful winter gardens in France and the UK. There is nothing else available like this large format inspirational reference book, by one of today’s masters of garden photography.
Available on Amazon here.
“Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle.”
From all the team at Earnshaws