December at Norfolk School of Gardening - Winter Garden Jobs

December at Norfolk School of Gardening - Winter Garden Jobs

Even with less growing in the garden in December, there are still plenty of jobs to be getting on with. Mulching, pricking seedlings, cutting away dead foliage.

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As Christmas approaches we have had fewer courses this week. The latest Introduction to Garden Design has just finished with a look at tips for small gardens and for lighting. We can’t wait to see the designs the students produce for their own gardens over the coming months and how they implement them. It is a really lovely, inspirational course and although the January course is full we do still have a couple of places on the one starting in April. We also have the brand new, two day Border Design course which will give you lots of ideas, tips and inspiration for redesigning an area of your garden. Get in touch if you would like more information.

The classroom may be quieter, but we have been very busy out in the Walled Garden. We have been tidying many of the beds, pulling up annuals and weeding before mulching and edging the beds. Hopefully they will look tidy for the next couple of months as the grass grows more slowly. We have cut down the frosted dahlias and mulched them with Strulch. This should give them enough protection from the cold and damp in the relatively sheltered walled garden, unless we have a very cold winter. We are crossing our fingers. We have however brought the cannas and calla lilies into the polytunnel, joining some of the more tender Salvia for the winter.

We have continued pricking out some of the more congested seedlings in the greenhouse. They won’t put on much growth over the winter but at least they have the space to do so as the days get longer and warmer. We don’t have heating in the Rhino greenhouse but we have put polystyrene underneath the seedlings and cuttings which will help a little. We are reusing polystyrene boxes and lids which we were given last year. They had been used for packaging fresh dog food and are perfect for protecting plants through the winter. We should be able to keep using these boxes for several years and if it gets really cold we will reuse bubblewrap and garden fleece inside the greenhouse to keep the chill off the plants.

If you are looking for the perfect, last minute Christmas present for the gardener in your life don’t forget that we offer personalised gift vouchers which we can post or email right up to Christmas Eve. Finally we would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas!


Courses with some availability in the coming weeks:

  • Botanical Printmaking (6-week course) – 11th January
  • Basic Slab Laying – 13th January
  • Renovation Pruning – 22nd January
  • Fruit Tree Care – 2nd February
  • Border Renovation – 5th February
  • Cutting Garden – 9th February
  • Your Veg Patch – 12th February



Plant of the Week


Clusters of small pink/white flowers on bare branches in winter

Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’

There are over 150 different Viburnums but this one is a fine hybrid raised at Bodnant Garden in Wales in 1935. It is a medium sized deciduous shrub of strong upright growth. ‘Dawn’ was the first named clone from the Bodnant hybrid and produces clusters of fragrant white or pink flowers during late autumn and winter on bare stems. The common name of Viburnum is arrowwood, referring to the prehistoric use of the long straight stems of Viburnum for arrow-shafts


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