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.
Discover how to make a mistletoe and teasel Christmas wreath.
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.
Collecting holly covered with red berries
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.
Yellow winter jasmine flowers
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.
Bright red dogwood stems
In autumn, force some bulbs such as hyacinths or paperwhite narcissi, shown here, and you could enjoy their beautiful scent and colour in time for Christmas.
White blooms of paperwhite narcissi