The Wildflower garden in December is a quiet place, with many plants and trees now fully dormant and creatures such as frogs and hedgehogs in hibernation. However a close inspection of the soil may already reveal the first signs of spring with Bluebells and Snowdrops putting out their first shoots by mid-month. Other more conspicuous plants this month include Holly and Mistletoe and both have berries that will be fully ripened in time for Christmas. Slightly less obvious, though still well known, is Traveler’s joy. By Christmas the fluffy seed heads will be fully developed. The distinctive look of these seeds has lead to its other more commonly known name of Old man’s beard.
You may well notice 2 garden birds in song at this time of year. These are the robin and wren, and the song is not so much an indication of spring yet, but the fact that both these birds hold winter territories. In the case of the robin, the male and female hold separate areas and can often be seen defending these passionately. As the first harsh winter frosts arrive, the wildflower garden in December will become a sanctuary for these and other birds seeking shelter and food.