It’s beginning to look a lot like… Christmas

It may only be November, but we are preparing for Christmas.

If like us, you love the festive season, you’ll be pleased to know we’ll be taking delivery of our Christmas trees on November 15.

As usual, we’ll be placing a stunning 15ft-high tree in the car park to welcome visitors and we’ll place smaller ones in the front entrance. We promise they will be a sight for sore eyes and will help to get you in the festive mood over the following few weeks.

Talking of Christmas, we’re hosting a fantastic winter trail from November 26. Luminate is an almost mile-long trail of gorgeous lights, light plays and ambient music that will weave through the Gardens. It will be a fabulous experience for all ages and will run every night until January 2 (although we are closed for Christmas and Boxing Day). Make sure you pre-book your tickets for this seasonal spectacular.

The work continues for the hard-working gardening team throughout November. We’ll finish moving tender plants from the grass garden and the cacti from the Loudon Terrace, tucking them away safely in the nursery over winter.

We’ll also complete the task of planting dozens of polyanthus around the bandstand and in the car park. We’ve also looked again at how we can include permanent, drought-tolerant planting there, so we will be adding favourites such as Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’. These will also help to provide all-year interest for our visitors.

The main job for the team will be collecting the leaves that are falling on the paths, borders and lawns. This is a huge job every year, but a really important one. As well as keeping the team fit, it keeps paths safe for everyone and it helps to keep the grass healthy. Leaving leaves on a lawn smothers the grass, which encourages fungal disease, attracts pests and restricts nutrients. If you have ponds, it is really important to clear leaves, too.

Of course, collecting the leaves and bagging them up also means we will get wonderfully rich leaf mould that will be used to enrich the soil in about 18 months’ to two years’ time, when it is fully broken down. We strongly encourage you to do the same in your garden, too. You will not regret it.

It’s also the time of year when the horticultural team can indulge themselves by scouring the new trade catalogues for new plants and ideas for next year’s summer bedding. We’ll discuss planting schemes, go over the available budgets and put in our orders.

If you’re planning to spend some time in the garden, preparing everything for winter, here are a few key tasks to carry out this month:

Finish planting your tulips, daffodils and crocuses for a wonderful spring display.

Top up those bird feeders – our feathered friends will appreciate the calories.

Protect any tender plants, such as tree ferns and cannas, that you cannot move indoors. You may need to wrap them in specialist fleece or bubblewrap.

There’s still time to add winter flowers to beds, planters and borders: pansies, wallflowers and violas all add welcome colour over the coldest months.

Did you know the Gardens is an independent educational charity that receives no regular public funding? Instead, our income comes from generous public donations, grants as well as conferences, weddings and other events – plus entry fees and memberships. By supporting us, you are helping to preserve this historic Grade II listed space in Birmingham.

There is also a great opportunity this Christmas to send a membership to a friend or family as a Christmas present!

We also love to see your photos and videos. If you visit us, please keep posting them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and let us know what you have enjoyed in particular on your visit here.

We look forward to welcoming you in November.