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My slippery descent into gardening began by taking ‘Prickly Pear’ cuttings, from Kew Gardens, while I was still at prep school. After a horticulture degree, with placements in historic gardens, and two decades making gardening telly, I’ve come full circle and returned to being a West Dorset sole gardener.
Oh to new beginnings—and now is, allegedly, the time to ‘turn over new leaves’ etc. If I was starting gardening for the first time what would I do? I think I’d keep it simple and, following on from last month’s Read more »
According to past statistics February is often colder than January. This winter so far has been very mild, especially when compared with 2010/11, so a cold snap this month would actually go some way to evening things up a bit. The fantastic flowering and fruiting last year demonstrated that plants perform best with a hard winter and warm spring. I’m worried that if we do not have a spell of sub-zero temperatures then pests and diseases will get the upper hand in 2012 and plants won’t have had a decent period of winter rest to gear up for brilliant blooming.
Remember the very early and steep dive into winter which occurred last year? I’ve taken extra precautions this year, starting by adding extra bubble-wrap insulation in the greenhouse which is easily fixed with plastic clips against the aluminium framework.
It seems like a pretty standard descent into winter so far. It’s easy to forget that the newly bare stems will remain that way for almost six months because it is well into May before the leaf canopy is fully reinstated. A lot of weather can happen between now and then – remember the ‘big freeze’ last winter – so invest in some horticultural fleece and keep it on standby.
November is one of those months when gardening activity is largely dictated by the whims of the weather. In a ‘normal’ year it is the final chance for those activities which depend on the last vestiges of warmth and active Read more »
I finished working for the BBC early this year because I made programmes featuring the ‘RHS’ flower shows and did not work, as I have in previous years, on Gardeners’ World. This has meant that, apart from a month’s return to Birmingham covering for a friend on sick leave, I’ve actually become ‘self-unemployed’ earlier than ever. In theory I should therefore have an immaculate garden and be well ahead on all maintenance issues – err, ‘No’!
hedge trimming so it’s a good place to start this one. In a perfect world I’d have been cutting my various hedges, a section at a time, when the mood took me but, as ever, I’ve let them get away Read more »
We seem to be having a pretty fair summer this year (sorry if, by the time you read this, rains of biblical proportions have returned!) and the hard winter seems to have promoted really good flowering. Recent prolonged sunny weather, Read more »
Time to take stock; what have you got planned for your garden this month? Yew hedges should have had their annual cut by now; summer borders tidied but not necessarily cut back to nothing (this can wait until spring); too early for blanket mulching; too late for taking cuttings from tender perennials; too late for applying herbicides – what can you do?
The last gasp of summer or the first breath of autumn? September keeps you guessing as so much depends on the weather and how benign it turns out to be. Of course the legendary, and these days almost mythical, ‘Indian Summer’ can make this month a real bonus.