Seeds to sow now:
Indoor or in a heated greenhouse
Outside under cover
What else to plant:
Roses (bare rooted)
Shows and events:
I have checked the events listed below and have added comments where necessary. Please check the show website before travelling, as some events are very popular and the venues may have put restrictions in place, others might have to be cancelled at the last minute.
Harewood House: Harewood's Great Time Travelling Christmas
Harewood's Great Time Travelling Christmas @ Harewood House
Beautifully decorated festive State Floor, the grounds decorated with festive lights, Christmas shopping and festive afternoon tea. Timed booking is a necessity.
- West Yorkshire
Longleat: The Festival of Light at Longleat
The Festival of Light at Longleat @ Longleat
Experience the magic of Longleat's Festival of Light with a light show illuminating the House facade, life-size lanterns, a drive through winter safari, Enchanted Christmas Tree show and Santa train. Selected dates.
- Warminster, Wiltshire BA12 7NW
Castle Howard: Christmas in Neverland at Castle Howard
Christmas in Neverland at Castle Howard @ Castle Howard
The house has been transformed into a winter wonderland with a Peter Pan themed odyssey. See Father Christmas, attend a wreath making workshop and visit the Bauble Emporium. British grown Christmas trees are available for purchase from the Garden Centre.
- York, Yorkshire YO60 7DA
Longleat: Longleat - The Festival of Light
Longleat - The Festival of Light @ Longleat
The Festival of Light presents The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Selected dates from 11th November 2023 to 7th January 2024. Board the Santa train and meet Santa and his elves, listen to Britain's biggest singing Christmas tree belting out carols.
- Warminster, Wiltshire BA12 7NW
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Christmas at Kew. A botanical world filled with seasonal cheer
Christmas at Kew. A botanical world filled with seasonal cheer @ Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Tunnels of lights, illuminated shrubs and trees through the gardens, laser projections across the Temperate glasshouse. Note:Selected dates, limited capacity and timed entry.
- Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB
Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh: Christmas at the Botanics
Christmas at the Botanics @ Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh
Follow the magical trail of sound and lights around the garden. New installations for 2023. Selected evenings and tickets must be purchased in advance.
- 20a Inverleith Row, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH3 5LR
RHS Garden Rosemoor: RHS Glow at Rosemoor
RHS Glow at Rosemoor @ RHS Garden Rosemoor
Colourful light and music trails through the garden, highlighting the trees, shrubs and garden features. Selected dates. Bookings should be made in advance.
- Nr. Great Torrington, Devon EX38 8PH
Cotehele: Cotehele's Christmas Garland
Cotehele's Christmas Garland @ Cotehele
During Christmas, the Great Hall is adorned with a 60-foot garland created from thousands of cut flowers grown on the estate.
- Tamar Valley, Saltash, Cornwall
RHS Garden Harlow Carr: RHS Glow 2023 at Harlow Carr
RHS Glow 2023 at Harlow Carr @ RHS Garden Harlow Carr
A magical, coloured light trail woven round the garden. Highlighting the trees, shrubs and garden features. Selected dates, tickets must be purchased in advance.
- RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Beckwithshaw, Crag Lane, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG3 1QB
Wakehurst: Glow Wild 2023 at Wakehirst
Glow Wild 2023 at Wakehirst @ Wakehurst
The gardens are lit with lanterns, torches and light projections. See the UK's tallest living Christmas tree decorated with 1,800 lights. Selected evenings.
- Ardingly, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH17 6TN
Hestercombe House & Gardens: Winter at Hestercombe
Winter at Hestercombe @ Hestercombe House & Gardens
Bigger and brighter for 2023. A magical journey full of colour, light and sound that will bring a festive joy and wonder to the gardens.
- Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton, Somerset TA2 8LG
RHS Garden Hyde Hall: RHS Glow 2023 at Hyde Hall
RHS Glow 2023 at Hyde Hall @ RHS Garden Hyde Hall
Colourful light and music trails through the garden, highlighting the trees, shrubs and garden features. Selected dates. Prior booking is essential.
- Creephedge Lane, Rettendon Common, Chelmsford, Essex CM3 8RA
Westonbirt Arboretum: Enchanted Christmas
Enchanted Christmas @ Westonbirt Arboretum
Follow the illuminated trail through the arboretum. Selected dates and advance booking essential: Fri 24-Sat 25 Nov, Fri 01-Sat 02 Dec, Fri 08-Sat 09 Dec, Fri 15-Sun 17 Dec Tues 19-Sat 23 Dec
- Tetbury, Gloucestershire GL8 8QS
Belton House: Christmas at Belton
Christmas at Belton @ Belton House
The gardens feature an enchanting winter light trail, complemented by seasonal music. Independent street vendors offer a variety of snacks and warming drinks for purchase.
- Grantham, Lincolnshire NG32 2LS
Sudeley Castle Gardens: Spectacle of Light
Spectacle of Light @ Sudeley Castle Gardens
Follow the trail of lights and music around the beautiful grounds of the Castle.
- Nr. Winchcombe, Gloucestershire
RHS Garden Wisley: Glow 2023 at Wisley
Glow 2023 at Wisley @ RHS Garden Wisley
Selected dates. Colourful light and music trails through the Wisteria Walk, the Glasshouse, the old Laboratory and creating beautiful reflections in the Jellicoe Canal and highlighting the trees, shrubs and garden features.
- Woking, Surrey GU23 6QB
Hanbury Hall: It's Christmaaas! at Hanbury Hall
It's Christmaaas! at Hanbury Hall @ Hanbury Hall
Turning back time and celebrating a retro Christmas with music from the period. No booking needed.
- School Road, Hanbury, Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire WR9 7EA
Chirk Castle: Christmas at Chirk Castle
Christmas at Chirk Castle @ Chirk Castle
The Castle is decorated for Christmas. Wander round the beautifully decorated rooms of the castle. Enjoy a winter walk around the acres of parkland before relaxing with a warm drink in the tea room. There is a reverse Santa's grotto at Home Fame, where gifts can be donated for a local food bank.
- Chirk, Wrexham, Denbighshire LL14 5AF
Blickling Estate: Wild Winter After Dark
Wild Winter After Dark @ Blickling Estate
See the Christmas lights in the garden and explore 400 years of festive celebrations. Timed entry and booking is essential.
- Aylsham, Norfolk NR11 6NF
Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens: An audience with Father Christmas at Belsay Hall
An audience with Father Christmas at Belsay Hall @ Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens
Festive stories with Father Christmas. Weekends from 2-23 December. Booking essential.
- Belsay, Nr. Morpeth, Northumberland NE20 0DX
Tudor Christmas Trail
A Christmas Tudor festival and trail run by the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 3LJ
Melbourne International Flower & GardenShow
20th March - 24th March 2024
Royal Exhibition Building & Carlton Gardens
RHS Urban Show
A new show from the RHS and a departure from the usual summer flower festival. The Urban Show will take place indoors at Depot Mayfield, Manchester a large industrial space and former railway depot. The show will focus on gardening in city spaces which typically have small or limited available area to garden.
Depot Mayfield, Manchester
The Newark Garden Show
The Newark Garden Show is a three day event, celebrating the best of gardening and the great outdoors.
Newark Showground, Lincoln Road, Coddington, Nottinghamshire, NG24 2NY
National Motor Museum: BBC Gardeners' World Fair - Spring
BBC Gardeners' World Fair - Spring @ National Motor Museum
Plant sales, tips and inspiration. Food market and live bandstand entertainment. Set in the grounds and gardens of Beaulieu. Including BBC goodfood Market
- Beaulieu, New Forest, Hampshire SO42 7ZN
Three Counties Showground: RHS Malvern Spring Festival
RHS Malvern Spring Festival @ Three Counties Showground
Show gardens, floral marquee and plant pavilion. Opportunities to buy plants, garden tools and equipment from the trade stands.
- Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcestershire WR13 6NW
The National Flower Show
A three day event in Hylands House and surrounding gardens, celebrating the best in gardening.
Hylands House, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 8WQ
RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Perhaps the most famous and prestigious flower show in the world. It has been held for over 100 years, starting in 1862 and was originally known as the Great Spring Show. It was held at the RHS garden in Kensington, moving to the Royal Hospital Chelsea grounds in 1913, when it was a three day show. The whole event including the 12,000 sq m Great Pavilion and all of the show gardens are put together in just three weeks (19 days) and dismantled in the 5 days after the show.
Royal Hospital Chelsea, Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4SR
The Royal Bath and West Agricultural Show
A festival of agriculture entertainment and food & drink. The Royal Bath and West show is one of the oldest agricultural shows in England. Taking place over 4 days.
The Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset
The NEC: BBC Gardeners' World Live
BBC Gardeners' World Live @ The NEC
Show gardens and floral marquee, gardening advice, demonstrations and the chance to buy plants! Run in conjunction with BBC Good Food Show Summer.
- North Avenue, Marston Green, Birmingham, West Midlands B40 1NT
Hampton Court Palace: RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival
RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival @ Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is the largest annual flower show in the World. Lots of large and smaller show gardens and marquees displaying flowers, plants and fruit. A whole marquee is dedicated for the 'Festival of roses'. Hampton Court has 34 acres of parkland so the flower show is able to spread out more than Chelsea. Unlike Chelsea where you can only purchase plants on the last day sell-off, at Hampton Court you can purchase plants and garden sundries on all days. In the last couple of hours in the afternoon of the last show day, a lot of the plants that have been in the display gardens are sold off at a reduced prices, so you may get a bargin. However, this also means that in late afternoon it's a bit frenetic and difficult to see the displays at their finest. 30 minutes by train from London Waterloo.
- East Molesey, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU
Tatton Park: RHS Flower Show Tatton Park
RHS Flower Show Tatton Park @ Tatton Park
Show gardens, plants and flowers. Talks, advice and demonstrations. Plenty of food, drink and shopping stalls. Note: The first day of the event is usually reserved for RHS members.
- Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 6QN
The NEC: Saltex
Saltex @ The NEC
A trade only turf management show for grounds keepers, landscapers, architects and designers.
- North Avenue, Marston Green, Birmingham, West Midlands B40 1NT
All event details have been entered as accurately as possible, but please check with the event organisers before travelling to avoid disappointment.
The UKGardening web site has been running since 1998. The idea behind the site has always been to provide what we think will be interesting and useful information for the novice gardener.
Jobs to do in the garden this week.
- Remove any yellowing leaves and earth up and firm the soil around the stems of brassicas, including winter cabbage and Brussels sprouts, to support the plant and reduce the rocking with winter winds.
- Switch outside water taps off at the mains and leave the outside tap open, draining any water, so the pipes don't freeze.
- Try not to be too tidy in the garden. Leaving seed heads and long ornamental grasses provide food for birds and insects. They can also add height and interest over the winter.
- Plant or move roses. They like plenty of sun and a clay soil. Leave 60cm (24in) between plants to allow air circulation, which will reduce the chance of infection.
- Plant apple and pear trees. Check and adjust any stakes on young trees and remove stakes on any trees that have been planted more than 3 years.
- On a dry still day rake up fallen leaves, don't put them on the compost heap, as leaves break down in a cold process, whereas a traditional compost heap breaks organic matter down in a warm/hot process. Put them into a leaf composter, or make leaf mould. How to make leaf mould.
- Put out feeders for birds. Nuts, seeds, suet balls and mealworms are available in most supermarkets now, but birds also love chopped bacon rind, apple and pear cores, dried fruit and pieces of crumbled hard cheese. Don't forget to put out fresh water, floating a tennis ball in the water should prevent the water from freezing over. Encouraging birds into the garden will help reduce the number of insects and slugs.
- Plant summer and or autumn fruiting raspberry canes.
- Empty any decorative and non-frostproof pots and store them undercover, in a shed, greenhouse or garage. If they are kept empty and dry over winter they are less likely to be damaged by frost. Frostproof terracotta pots planted with a winter display should be lifted onto clay pot feet, to allow any excess water to drain out and reduce slug and snails climbing the side of the pot to eat your plants.
- During autumn and winter, indoor plants will require less feeding and watering. However as the temperature drops outside, the central heating goes on and the temperature in the house tends to go up, so whilst it's a good idea to keep your pot plants on the dry side and not water them too often, you should check a couple of times a week to ensure they haven't totally dried out. Oh and if you have a water spray bottle, hold the plant over the sink or bath and give the foliage a quick little squirt (don't do this to hairy leaved plants like African violets).
- Don't go and buy an indoor (small) watering can, I find that the kettle does just as good a job, but obviously not after it has just boiled!! (the water should be room temperature or cooler).
- Early November is usually the time to prune roses, but the weather is still mild and I still have flowers and buds on some of mine, so I'll wait until they have finished flowering when they can then be pruned, cutting them back to half their height.
- After a frost try to stay off the grass. Treading on the lawn in frosty conditions can damage the grass.
- Order bare root roses. Bare root roses are cheaper to buy and have posted than container-grown roses. There is also a much broader range of roses available by mail-order than can be purchased in most garden centres.
Ordering early and planting within the first few weeks of October will allow them to start to get established before the hard winter frosts, but planted later in the winter/new year, they'll still settle in quickly, begin to sprout in the spring and flower in the summer. When planting a bare root rose in winter you'll initially need to water it in well, but unless we have a particularly dry spell it shouldn't need additional watering, if planting in early spring, you'll need to keep an eye on the weather and water regularly to stop the roots from drying out.
- Refirm the roots of any shrubs that may have been lifted by frost.
- Keep an eye on the weather forecast. Cover shrubs that are likely to be damaged by frost with garden fleece, sacking or an old light blanket.
- Choosing a real Christmas tree.
- Move any planted up pots and containers closer to the house so you can enjoy the colours and textures of the plants through your windows.
- Spray fruit trees. When all the leaves have fallen, spray with a winter tree wash, these are now vegetable oil based, as the traditional tar oil washes have been banned. This cleans the branches and kills fungal spores and over-wintering insects and their eggs. Note: Only use on a calm, still day, cover nearby ponds and green leaved plants, and wear suitable protection (gloves, goggles and mask are advised).
- After all the windy weather check fence posts and panels are still secure and repair as necessary. Make sure that the shed roof is still water tight.
- Autumn or late winter are the best times to lay a new lawn, as it's damper and cooler, allowing the turf to bed in without you having to worry too much about regular watering. See here: laying a new lawn for further information.
- Collect holly and ivy for Christmas decoration. It's legal to collect foliage on public land, as long as it's for your use and not for sale. Don't put up the plant, take secateurs to cut off what you need.
- Visit some lovely gardens showing beautiful autumn colour.
- Creating a compost heap
- Christmas light displays are wonderful to see and really get children and adults excited and in the mood for the holidays. The revenue generated from the Christmas displays make a large contribtion to the preservation and running costs of stately homes.
- Planting up winter containers and baskets
- Making leaf mould
- Cleaning patios, paths and decking
- Choosing a real Christmas tree
- Storing plants over winter
- UKGardening YouTube Channel
- Tweets by UKGardening.
- Removing large branches
- Updated photo gallery
Tweets by UKGardening