Preparing For Winter



What an autumn it’s been, so mild with some days warmer and sunnier than many summer days. As I write this piece in mid November, the trees have yet to shed half their leaves and throughout the land the autumn colours have been spectacular, notably the maples of which there are several in the village.

I have only just emptied our containers and dug over the garden beds and really the geraniums and bedding begonias were in such good condition, they could have gone on until the end of the month. However the time is right for bringing my wallflowers down from my allotment for planting out in the garden and the winter bedding is ready and waiting in the greenhouse, to fill pots and containers. If you plan to fill your containers with bulbs, shrubs and other permanent plants, make sure water can pass through easily as good drainage is doubly important in winter. Clear any blockages in the pots and water should drain through readily. Ants and worms nesting under container bases can block holes but pots can be raised on broken pieces of tile or even half bricks.

I’ve been spending some time on my allotment in this fine weather, pacing myself with my digging – just a half hour at a time and not going mad as I used to do. I like to dig. I get the same satisfaction from the job as my dad used to do. I’ve got a rotavator but I still like to dig.

I was asked how long leeks, carrots and parsnips could be left in the ground. Leeks are winter-proof and can be left in the ground and lifted as required as can carrots and parsnips but these will begin to deteriorate after January if the tops begin to grow again.

Do you really want a poinsettia in mid- October which is when they’ve appeared in supermarkets this year? It wouldn’t do for us. We’re lucky if this plant lasts through December and rarely into the New Year, so we’ve admitted defeat and we now enjoy them in other folks’ homes.

So to all readers of What’s On I hope you have