December’s Garden

December is a month of transition in the gardener’s mind.

The growing season is well and truly over, yet we are not quite ready to begin the daydreaming which will eventually lead to spring.  We’re still thinking about this year’s successes and failures and needing a small mental break before a new year brings new challenges.

It is a resting month in the garden, which is certainly convenient as it is not a resting month in any other part of our lives. The holiday season –  frantic and beautiful – occupies and delights us.

Let it…and let go of the garden for just a little while.



  • Put up a string of lights
  • Hang a wreath
  • Take a winter walk in a natural setting
  • Collect wild materials like bittersweet, rose hips and hickory nuts to decorate the house.
  • Look out on the vistas that winter reveals when leaves fall
  • Wrap up warm
  • Go to a holiday event.


  • Water your amaryllis bulbs, admit to yourself you got them in the pots too late for a Christmas bloom and vow not to do it again.


“In  drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy brook,
Thy bubblings ne’er remember
Apollo’s summer look”

– John Keats
– from “In drear-nighted December”




About the Author:

Marianne is the mother of two, wife of one and the voice of The Small Town Gardener. She gardens and writes from her home in the scenic (and exceptionally convenient) heart of Virginia's wine country.