Ah February, the last month of winter, and whilst there are signs here and there that plants are stirring from their slumber the weather is going to be cold for quite a while yet but don’t worry, there are still plenty of things you can be doing.
I have lost count of the number of times I have encountered the remains of a small tree/shrub where the top is long gone, but the stump remains. Why? Well, usually the answer is that removing even a small stump can appear to be difficult job so why not let it just rot away. Unfortunately, that may not work as quite a few stumps can regrow. So, removal is the way to go here I will show you how I remove a small stump without too much effort.
Sprouts are the marmite of vegetables with people either liking or passionately hating them. However I always take the view no matter how much you dislike a particular food thing, there is always a recipe out there that could change your mind. So if you run a mile when sprouts are mentioned then stop and give this Waitrose recipe a go as I think you will be pleasantly surprised – it is really a doddle to make, cheap and very very tasty and without that bitter taste are often associated with Sprouts.
Left to its own devices a Pampas Grass can soon get out of control and dominate smaller gardens. There are various ways of cutting it down (best done in late winter) however having done this a few times with various large grasses now I have a quick and easy way to cut them back without creating a massive cleaning up headache. In this post I will show you step by step how to cut back an overgrown Pampas Grass the easy way.
When a perennial is starting to outgrow its spot and is muscling others out of the way it is time to divide it. The most common approach requires two garden forks to prize the lifted plant apart but what if you don’t happen to have enough forks to hand? Well there is a simple way to split your these plants as I will show you.
Yes, you did read that correctly – I use an eraser to help keep my secateurs clean. OK, this isn’t something I fished out from the bottom of my school pencil case – this eraser, by garden tools specialist Niwaki, has been created specifically to clean garden tools and it works a treat as I will quickly demonstrate.
Are you looking out of the window at the gloomy sky and the cold, wet weather and wondering what to do? Really? This is no time for lounging around – there is work to be done people! OK, things do start to become a bit challenging but November is a really great time (when dodging the showers) to invest a bit of your time that will pay dividends next year.
Right it is Autumn people and that means… lots of superb colour, long walks, wet grass and knowing that as nature starts to shut up shop for the year, there are still so many joys to find and that the wonders of winter are just around the corner before that new year starts again.
September is my favourite month – the summer still lingers but clearly Autumn is on its way. The leaves are starting to fall and the sun rises later but after your month off in August now is a good time plan any Autumn work (paths, edges, new borders). In other words… plenty to be doing and plenty to be enjoying.
Not every Manor house garden is a picture of perfection. In fact, most of the Manor House gardens we don’t get to see are being looked after as best people can but there are those gardens where a tipping point has been reached and they are slowly being lost. You have to admire these owners for their previous efforts and more importantly opening up their garden which we recently visited. This is my postcard from a fading Manor house garden.
With the heat of mid-summer hopefully behind us, August is a time to enjoy those longer warmer evenings in your garden or at the allotment. Whether it is a session tackling those pesky weeds or just sitting down with a glass of wine and watching nature go by whilst the sun goes down, the only thing you really need to do is enjoy this time.
The arrival of the puppy means visits are fewer this year, but the Green & Gorgeous Flower Farm Open Day was one that we didn’t want to miss (so the puppy had a lazy Sunday afternoon napping). Behind the scenes, where the magic happens, this is ultimately a business but my oh my, so many lovely flowers to see and share so, here is my postcard from the Green & Gorgeous Flower Farm Open Day.
Each June I look at the blooming Elderflowers and think I really should have a go at making some Elderflower cordial and then promptly forget. However this time around I was with it and so set about making Elderflower cordial which is a doddle and knocks the spots off any shop bought stuff.
Summer has officially arrived (at last) and with it comes the prospect of warmer drier weather which gives you the chance to get out there and do a bit of work but also take a moment or two (but no more!) to enjoy the fruits of your labours from earlier in the year. Keep an eye on the watering and the weeds both of which will need plenty of attention at this month.
Here’s the deal – you don’t mow your lawn this month, you let it and any flowers grow merrily away and in return at the end of the month bask in the glory when you find out how many bees your wild lawn will feed and at the same time help others learn more about the nation’s lawns. Interested?
At last May is here which is one of my favourite months for gardening – flowers starting to burst and there is the lush green of new leaves everywhere. Oh and two bank holidays of course! There is plenty to do around the garden and a little work now will pay dividends in spadefuls when summer arrives.
It is always a pleasure to wander around others well tended gardens on a warm sunny day and if you are regular visitor it may well be worth buying the May 2023 edition of Gardeners’ World Magazine which includes a 2 for 1 pass for adult entrance fees at almost 400 gardens until April 2024.