Picture the familiar Christmas scene: you arrive home from the garden centre, a tall, bushy tree proudly under your arm. You're anxious to get it up and show it off in all it's festive glory - but once it's actually inside, once you've pruned and snipped it into it's allocated space, the magic seems to have faded.
Having a place to park a car by your home is important, there's no arguing that. But is it more important than having an open green space to welcome you, visitors and nature to your front door?
Cranberries are the staple fruit of Christmas, creating the sauce synonymous with turkey or adding warmth to winter punches, relishes and jellies.
What do you give the gardener who has everything? Perhaps a luxurious back and neck massage to ease those endless hours of digging? Or perhaps a good manicure to file away all that grime from under the nails?
You have probably planted most of your spring bulbs by now, but it's not too late to add tulips to the mix, ready to create a riot of colour next season.
Imagine a Britain without vegetable patches, allotments or beautiful flower beds, where gardeners are unable to grow anything outside, knowing any plants will be ravaged by a foreign predator.
I looked out on my patio a few days ago to see a pelargonium I planted back in May coming into flower yet again, at a time when most of my summer pots have been emptied.
At this time of year, just when plants are entering their dormant phase, I always look at the overcrowded clumps of perennials dying down and decide what I need to lift and divide next year.
Anyone who's been gardening for some years may well have noticed that, as time moves on, the wildlife which once frequented British gardens is becoming a rarer sight.
They are among the most spectacular sights of autumn, as their leaves turn sizzling shades of red, burnt orange and yellow.
It's a bumper year for apples, experts have told us, thanks to last year's wet summer, this year's late spring and the glorious summer of 2013 - but what if things haven't gone so well?
We all feel better after an hour or two of gardening; the fresh air, the exercise and the simple joy of being surrounded by beautiful flowers and the fruits of our labour.