December is an unpredictable month – it can be freezing cold or unseasonably mild, in which case you may find that a few flowers persisting on some of your plants.
Whatever the weather, these winter stalwarts will ensure fresh pickings for the house.
Berries and hips
Rosehips and berries bring welcome colour into the house in December; pick them well before the festive season begins in earnest, otherwise hungry birds may eat them.
Evergreens such as holly really come into their own in the winter months, adding much needed colour and structure. Evergreen herbs such as rosemary and eucalyptus bring welcome scent.
Winter jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum, is an unfussy plant that is often grown against a wall. Its yellow flowers appear from November, brightening the dark winter months. A few sprigs make a welcome addition to a vase.
Dogwoods such as Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ and willows are grown for their stunning bare winter stems; they also add drama to indoor flower arrangements. If you don’t have any in your garden, many florists sell them.