The season of Advent is here and it is great to concentrate on the beauty of the winter season and fun things to do outside:

– wrap up well and visit winter gardens and enjoy winter walks on good weather days – you will always find something in flower at the Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh ( and at botanical gardens around the country

– collect holly, ivy and evergreens and get creative with your Christmas wreath for your front door

– bring fragrant branches of winter flowering shrubs into your home and enjoy the scent.  Look for winter flowering witch hazel (Hamamelis), Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox), or Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’

– collect plant seed heads and cones and spray paint them for your Christmas decorations

– go and choose a real Christmas tree and decorate

– simply enjoy looking at your garden after a heavy hoar-frost

– give the birds in your garden a seasonal treat and put out fat and seed balls

– take time to put your feet up and enjoy reading some garden books – I am looking forward to settling down with “Planting – A New Perspective” by Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury  in front of a real fire, and enjoying a glass of something special.

Happy Christmas!

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Wintersweet flowers.