One stunning plant in the garden at this time of the year, indeed right through the winter months, is the pyracantha. I have a medium sized Orange Glow to the left of the front door that remains full of gorgeous orange berries for months.

The firethorns, as they are also called, are all tough, very hardy shrubs which tolerate a wide range of demanding conditions, including shaded and exposed positions, and make dense thorny evergreen growth, ideal for intruder-proof hedging or for training on walls to display their profuse and bright berries.

They also make attractive free-standing shrubs, although growth is then often more compact and arching. Orange Glow is a reliable, vigorous form, with dense growth and strong branches covered in autumn with masses of long-lasting berries. As you can imagine, a perfect fit for my very exposed beach garden at the front of the house. Pyracantha is great for adding wildlife interest to your garden too. In May, this attractive evergreen is smothered in fragrant, white flowers which are a favourite with bees.

The flowers are then followed by jewel-like, vibrant orange berries which are a welcome source of food for foraging birds. In addition to this, the branches of orange pyracantha firethorn hedge plants are decorated with thorns, perfect for adding texture.

This past week has been so bitterly cold, the temperature has not got much over freezing most days in Seaford, indeed, some days has stayed below zero. Needless to say, I have not been out gardening, just enjoying what I can see from the house.

The main task has been to keep filling the bird feeders with fat balls. I’ve never been aware of them needing a top up so frequently before. I had a large order last autumn and have had to order more for fear of running out. Regular walks up the garden to check on the temperatures in the greenhouse have been top of the list too. So far, all has seemed well with me being able to maintain a temperature of about nine degrees in there through the very cold spell.

If you can’t get out, but fancy a garden trip, the National Garden Scheme has a number of live online talks, later this month and next. For a small price you can join the talk, usually lasting around 90 minutes. The next is on Tuesday, entitled “My Garden Journey”, with Terry Winters of Ordnance House in Wiltshire. Why not log on to and take a look what’s on offer.

Read more of Geoff’s garden at