Gardenproud Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Early Frosts’

It’s nearly Christmas and what’s going on in the Garden?

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Is there a gardening angel in you?

If so don’t forget to feed the birds this month.

With all the preparation for the Christmas festivities it’s all too easy to forget who’s braving it out there and what’s going on out in the garden.

If you haven’t already done so then get the fleeces out and protect the more vulnerable shrubs. Some examples to look out for are bay trees, tree ferns, cordylines, olive trees, in fact any of the less hardy shrubs in your garden.

Remember to rake up the leaves from the grass. If you haven’t done this already there are probably a lot, especially following the storm of 28th October.

If you are lucky enough to have a greenhouse then give the plants and seedlings a water and remember to ventilate on warmer days. You can also clean and prepare all the seed trays and make ready for sowing the spring seedlings.

December is always a great time for indoor plants, including Hyacinths and Poinsettia. In our house the Hyacinths always adorn our upstairs landing window sill, they look and smell really super. The Poinsettia give a warm festive welcome in the Hallway.

Other thoughts to help lift the spirits include planting out a couple of smart pots close to your front door. Looking good could be miniature Christmas trees,  or small box pyramids surrounded by a sea of cyclamen. Make sure you fill the base of the pot with small rocks, or broken old pots, then create a mix of potting compost and topsoil. Water the plants before you pot them and remember to water them once they are in situ. It’s always satisfying to come home to a bright welcome, and your Christmas visitors will also appreciate this.

A couple of years ago we test marketed the idea of creating real live Christmas Wreaths. I really dislike the cheap plastic imitations, so don’t fall into this trap. You can easily make your own. They look so much more inviting. To start with you can buy inexpensive conifer based rings from most garden centres, or flower shops. These come in different diameters and the conifer cuttings are usually held together in a moss and wire frame. Go for this variety as they will last longer and keep the ring damp.

Then select your embellishments. If you’ve got a well stocked garden a few items such as pine cones, holly sprigs, berries, ivy, dried fruit, fresh flowers, cinnamon sticks held in place with some thin green wire (or a heated glue gun) will look a treat! If you haven’t got access to these, you can usually buy similar items at Hobbycraft, or your local garden centre. It’s good to keep it simple, so maybe have a theme. Think about where it’s likely to go. If it’s a red front door then something that contrasts and has red in it, will always look good etc, etc.

Anyway have a go.

Christmas wreaths look smashing on front doors, above hallway and lounge mirrors, on outside trellis, even on the potting shed door!

For further information about Christmas Wreaths, Logs for your fire, or woodburner, or any gardening advice for 2014, contact Tim Sykes on 07725 173820.

Have a super Christmas and New Year!

Is there going to be snow in October?

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

Dunorlan Park

There have been reports recently that the recent good weather is about to take a nose dive and that we should expect snow this October.

As you can imagine this worried me.

As temperatures soared yesterday (Saturday 1st October to an all time high of 85.8F) it seems we are set for an indian summer! I was talking to a friend last night who had just returned from Sheffield and he was joking about the locals who were still wandering around in shorts and flip-flops!

Some plants are getting a little confused and blooming early. I noticed that in one of our new gardens the Rhododendrons are going for a second bloom.

If this trend continues it could extend the summer flowering period and impact on the traditional winding down of the garden during the late Autumn.

But be warned!

Last year we were all taken by surprise when the cold period hit early with snow fall towards the end of November. A lot of plants were damaged as a result of this and the prolonged periods of snow that followed during the winter. Among these bays, yuccas, palms and boxes all suffered. So this year we need to be prepared to move under cover less hardy plants and wrap wherever possible others.

Netweather  are suggesting that temperatures will remain close to the normal pattern in October, with November being slightly cooler than average. Forecasts of widespread snow during October have not been made by Netweather. Although they say that it is not uncommon to see some snow on the hills and mountains of Northern Britain and Scotland. So maybe reports of snow are a little exaggerated after all!