Sea­son’s greet­ings

Hampshire Life - - Garden Masterclass -

It’s tra­di­tional to bring out­doors in­side for Christ­mas though you needn’t re­strict your pick­ings to holly and ivy. Add some con­tem­po­rary tones and sil­very sparkle with the wispy sil­ver clema­tis seed-heads, aka Old Man’s beard, sprigs of aro­matic eu­ca­lyp­tus, rose­mary and cot­ton laven­der. I also buy bun­dles of wil­low for mak­ing the base of wreaths and what’s left over makes ex­cel­lent sup­ports for beans and sweet peas to scram­ble over in sum­mer. Ex­per­i­ment­ing with new plants for our Yule­tide ar­range­ments has be­come a tra­di­tion at home, as has head­ing out to the woods to col­lect a Yule log for the wood-burner. When aflame on the grate ev­ery­one makes a wish for next year.

My hope, as al­ways, is that I don’t burn the Christ­mas din­ner – eas­ier said than done when sip­ping fes­tive cheer! But food is the cen­tral theme of the month with the last of the car­rots, red cab­bage, beet­root and swede gath­ered from the veg plot. Once cleared I tickle over the soil so that the lumps are left for frosts to break down and to ex­pose any slugs to the birds. One other job I al­ways do – egged on by three ex­cited chil­dren – is to dig out and dust off the sledge from the back of the garage. Just in case...

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