Summer Flowering Border

Click here to download a full size version of this planting design

This fantastic display was designed and planted by landscape architect, Alistair W Baldwin for the areas in front of our natural swimming pool in Harrogate. Each time we visit during the Summer there are splashes of colour across the border, note how Alistair has repeated the same plants randomly throughout.

Other plants used here but not labelled are Alliums (a good choice would be Purple Sensation), Purple Fennel, Stipa gigantea, Sedum Autumn Joy and Knautia macedonica.

All these plants thrive in free draining soil and will come back year after year.

To print from a PDF, download here summer flowering border

Viburnum Bodnantense Dawn

Plant of the month for December is Viburnum Bodnantense Dawn, characterised by its numerous and densely packed clusters of rose, pink or blush white flowers. It flowers in winter, from October through to March depending on how cold the winter is. Harder pruning will keep it compact.

This hardy plant likes full sun or partial shade, and is fairly easy to look after.
Preferred soil type is well-drained/light, moist. Grows to a height of around 300cm with a 200cm spread.

What to do in your garden in December

It’s December now and despite some mild spells, it’s getting much colder. After our unseasonably mild autumn we seem to have been sent straight into the weather you would expect to see this time of year: frost, rain, strong winds and even the odd bit of snow. Sunshine hours are now much reduced and it can be bitter with a risk of snow. You don’t want to be working outside if you can help it, but thankfully there’s not a lot to do in December in your garden.

Make sure any winter protection you have isn’t disturbed by the wind and rain, and if you have a greenhouse, check that the heater is working. One thing you can do in December is prune any apple or pear trees you have, do this now to get a better harvest next year.

Here are a few things you can be getting between Christmas shopping and looking outside at the horrible weather!

  • Make sure any winter protection structures you have are securely.
  • Make sure that any greenhouse heaters are in working order
  • Protect ponds and outside water pipes to protect them from freezing
  • Prune apples and pears trees
  • Harvest any remaining root crops as well as leeks, parsnips, winter cabbage and sprouts
  • plant and transplanted deciduous trees and shrubs
  • Take hardwood cuttings
  • Reduce watering of houseplants

Need more advice? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

What to do in your garden in December


As Christmas preparations take over, gardening often has to take a back seat in December, but if you can steal a moment or two in the madness of the month here is our best advice on how to spend your time wisely.

Looking good now
Be the envy of friends and family this Christmas with a garden that looks as good in December as any other time of the year. Plants looking their best this month are Galanthus – Snowdrop, Cylcamen Coum, Mahonia, Holly – Ilex varieties, Erica – Heathers and Cornus – Dogwood.

Protect, Protect, Protect
This time last year the UK was hit by a blanket of snow and sub-zero temperatures, so it is vital now to protect frost sensitive plants from damage. If you wish to protect plants such as palms in situ place straw around the base and wrap in fleece. Alternatively bring in sensitive plants in pots.

Prepare for spring
Before the hard frosts set in dig over empty beds and work in nutrients to prepare your soil for new planting. As you sit back and take a sip of your favourite Christmas tipple why not grab a pen and paper and start planning your garden for the year ahead? If you need inspiration pop along to Garden Style Garden Centre and have a chat with a member of our team.

Need more advice?
Talk to a member of our experienced garden team on your next visit to Garden Style.

Here are our top tips list of things to do in December…


  • Avoid walking on soil if wet.
  • Look out for attractive winter plants such as hamamelis (witch hazel), viburnums and sarcococca (Christmas box.)
  • Feed the birds with a range of seeds to attract different species.
  • Choose your Christmas tree early for the best selection.


  • Protect hellebores from slugs.


  • If the weather is fine, plant out trees and shrubs.
  • Now is an ideal time to move trees and shrubs into new positions.
  • Prune deciduous trees and shrubs but leave evergreens until spring.
  • Protect newly planted evergreen shrubs with fleece to prevent frost damage.


  • Protect winter vegetables from pigeons by covering with netting.
  • Winter wash fruit trees to clean up any over-wintering insects and pests.
  • Prune gooseberries, red currants and white currants.
  • Cover rhubarb with compost or manure.
  • Check stored fruit and vegetables, removing any that are diseased.


  • Keep off the lawn if the weather is wet.
  • Remove leaves off the lawn.
  • Apply winter seed if you haven’t already done so.


  • Spring-flowering bulbs can still be planted.
  • Protect crocus bulbs from mice by covering with netting.
  • Continue to ventilate if the weather is fine to keep down disease via air movement.
  • Sow onion seeds and sweet peas.

Need more advice? Post a question on our Facebook page or pop into the garden centre and talk to a member of our experienced garden team.