A popular plant to have in the garden at his time of year is a Pyracantha, a thorny shrub. It’s an evergreen plant used profusely for its ornamental value and practical attributes.

Also known as Firethorn, a name which originates from the Greek translation of “pyr” being fire and “akanthos” meaning thorn. Its appearance coincides with the dramatic tone created by its common name. Famous for its berries, the one I have in my front garden has beautiful orange fruit, called orange glow. The berries appear in late summer, ripen in autumn and if left untouched, can remain until early spring.

Pyracantha is perfect for planting as a single variety, which is what I have done at both front and back of the house. However, to truly utilise the awe of this ornamental shrub, plant as a mixture and come summer, receive a bounty of berries and a wonderful explosion of vibrant colours.

It has been a pretty quiet week for me in the garden as all of my winter preparation was completed a few weeks ago. The temperatures have certainly started to drop and I have been checking the plants in the greenhouse on a daily basis. Night-time temperatures, in particular, have been low and my heater has been kicking in to ensure it is kept just right for my plant collection housed in there.

Some plants in the house are doing well, with my two peach-coloured hibiscus flowering well in both the lounge and back porch. Several cacti on the south-facing front porch window have been flowering this week as well.

My fresh Christmas tree was delivered on Tuesday and I got it ready for decorating. I decided on a small one this year, it is only 4ft high but looks beautiful now lit and decorated in the hall of the house. As I mentioned last week, it is important to ensure it sits in water to help maintain its freshness through until the new year.

Have you started to think about feeding the birds during the winter months? The added bonus in feeding is it allows you to get really close to some of Sussex’s most amazing wildlife. You might think great tits, robins and finches are nothing to shout about, but the more you look, the more you see their fantastic colours and interesting behaviours. We can all benefit from sharing our lives a with wildlife, even more so with the quieter Christmas some of us will have this year. In winter food is hard to find, so supplementing a bird’s natural food can be essential to their survival.

Read more of Geoff’s garden at www.driftwoodbysea.co.uk