THE VILLAGE GARDENER
Must Do Gardening Tips for December
Ex Wenvoe Cricket Club Captain Alan Grant has some tips for us.
- Do not make excuses for not getting out in the garden.
- Adapt the garden to the amount of work you are capable of.
- A water feature will add serenity to any garden.
- My main aim is to have colour in the borders for the whole year.
- Having an edge to the lawn really sets it off.
The Women’s Institute secretary Mrs Ewington has some reminders for Winter.
- Poinsettias will keep longer if the pot is allowed to dry out a bit before watering each time.
- Make sure the Amaryllis you were given for Christmas goes on display, as the gifter will check.
- Give those Christmas Hyacinths a good feed before they die back.
- Don’t forget to deadhead the violas and pansies. The displays will only get better from now on.
- Check for any dead or diseased plants amongst the ones you are over wintering.
At the Walled Garden, Victoria, who now heads the gardening team, has handed out the overwintering jobs to the staff which includes the insulation of ceramic pots with bubble wrap, water butts to be emptied in case of a severe frost to avoid cracking, and hose pipes stored away and taps covered.
The fuchsias in hanging baskets and containers that have been flowering right up to the end of November, can be kept for next year. Leave them in their planters and remove all leaves to cut down the risk of disease and store in a garage or shed. They do not need light and only very little water to stop them drying out completely. In the Spring cut them back hard and repot in fresh compost. Hellebores will soon be in flower. We can remove some of the lower hanging leaves to show off the blooms. Hellebores can suffer from blackspot so remove infected leaves and destroy. Forget-me-nots seem to pop up everywhere. A lot of people regard them as weeds as they have the ability to crowd out other plants, but they do bring some early spring colour. You need to thin them out or mildew will take hold and ruin the display.
What a year on the allotments; they have been well tended. The new plot holders have taken really good care of their patches and some are already digging trenches to fill with material to feed their runner beans next year. Old hand Herbie suggests moving leeks to the edge of allotments and heeling in. They will keep for ages like this, and you can then prepare the ground for next season. On one of the allotments, you will see a lot of compost bins; the owner uses these to excel in growing a variety of crops. He is a font of knowledge and very approachable, not like Herbie at all!
A big thank you to What’s On for letting me write this column for another year. We are fortunate to have a group of dedicated people who give their time to produce such an informative magazine.
Have a lovely Christmas. Take care and as always – happy gardening