“In winter it’s difficult with the light, and plants need light,” she says.
Cornus alba ‘Kesselringii’ makes a dramatic winter picture.Photograph: Gap Photos
Plant this Looking for something showy for your garden this month?
Living shelf: despite their relatively low carbon footprint, there are still ways to make houseplants more sustainable.Photograph: Hugo Goudswaard/Alamy
I have been getting loads of questions about the sustainability of houseplants recently.
Standing tall: Allan gazes up at the highest of the sunflowers.Photograph: Allan Jenkins
By the time you read this I will be in hospital.
My winter houseguests – the citrus trees, chillies and numerous other tender things that have to come in from the cold – have snuck in some unwanted extras: aphids and mealybugs.That is until your whole plant is covered in fluff and turning pale.
Crataegus laevigata ‘Paul’s Scarlet’ in May.Photograph: Alamy
Plant this Make the most of tree-planting season to add a native species to your garden.
Dry run: keep cacti and succulents close to a window and don’t overdo the watering in winter.Trust me, under the right conditions killing cacti and succulents is really quite easy, at least eventually.
A blackbird feeds on ivy berries.Finally, it has beautiful black berries that offer an invaluable food source for birds through winter, and well into spring and early summer.
Houseleeks are one succulent you can keep outside.Photograph: Alamy
Cut this Pruning blackcurrants is one of my most cherished winter jobs because the cut stems smell just as delicious as the fruit.
We are finally at the winter solstice (4.This then is the shortest day, nearly nine hours less light than in high summer.
Decking the halls: colourful, indoor plants are the answer to living seasonal decorations.Here are three living Christmas decorations that, with minimal care, will last you for many new years to come.
Winter skeletons: the tall flowering fennel stands dark against the grey sky.Photograph: Allan Jenkins
It is largely empty at the allotments.
Colletia paradoxa makes a perfect barrier.Photograph: Bob Gibbons/Alamy Stock Photo
Plant this If you need a barrier but find berberis too reminiscent of car parks, try anchor plant (Colletia paradoxa; ).