As the winter chill sets in and nature braces itself for frost & snow, the team at Mad About Land have been busy getting ready for the festive season.

Our gardens, though resting, are far from dormant. We've been bustling with yuletide preparations, bringing the outside in with our sustainable practices. Our hands have been busy crafting wreaths. Wild holly, plucked from our hedgerows, now adorns tables, spreading cheer and a touch of rugged beauty. Even our Christmas trees, once their twinkling lights go out, will find new purpose in our compost heaps, enriching the soil for seasons to come.

For the conscious gardener in the UK, December is a month of reflection, celebration, and preparation. As the landscape quiets under the winter chill, it offers a unique moment to appreciate the year's efforts towards enhancing plant diversity and fostering a healthier ecosystem.

This time of year, we're reminded of the cycle of life and our role in it — our gardens become a testament to the resilience and beauty of nature, even in its most dormant state. It's a period to celebrate the humble ecosystems of life that our gardens support, from the tiniest insects seeking refuge in the leaf litter to the birds that find sustenance in the berries left on the branches.

December encourages us to plan for the future, to dream of the garden's potential in the coming year, and to commit once again to practices that protect and enhance the diversity of our local environment. Our festive activities, deeply rooted in sustainability, reflect our dedication to living harmoniously with nature, showcasing how tradition and environmental stewardship can intertwine beautifully.

Our December Rituals

Preparing for Springs Harvest

The last month of the year is a time of reflection and anticipation as we prepare for the growth and vitality of the coming Spring season. We've planted onions in their indoor beds and braved the elements to sow broad beans into the earth. We are confident that these small acts of planting in Winter will yield future harvests.

In December, our gardening activities, though seemingly quiet, are pivotal for setting the stage for spring's abundance. Beyond the sowing of onions and broad beans, it's a time to ensure our soil is well-nourished and protected by adding organic matter or mulch to shield it from the worst of the Winter's cold.

Pruning dormant fruit trees and bushes can prepare them for a healthier growing season. While nurturing our future harvests, these tasks also allow us to bring the garden's bounty to our tables, even in the heart of Winter. Preserving, pickling, and fermenting the last of autumn's produce allows us to enjoy the flavours of our garden during the festive season.

From root vegetables stored in cool, dark places to jars of pickled onions and beans, December's labour ensures that the garden's gifts find their way to our tables, enriching our meals with the taste and triumph of our gardening efforts.