Gardeners are such optimists… and we need to be, given the brutal weather that is forcing us to hold back on spring activities in the garden. It is just too cold to be planting, unless you have a heated greenhouse.
Tag Archives: Gardener
Everywhere you go this week and into the weekend you will see signs telling you to buy plants for Mother’s Day. Markets, supermarkets, garden centres and farmer’s markets – they are all displaying wonderful pots of spring bulbs and bunches of fabulous flowers for Mother’s Day gifts.
I am getting ready to go to the Barbican on Valentine’s Day to spend the day ‘loving gardening’. Will there be red roses and fizz, I wonder?
If I were writing a letter to a jolly green and yellow gardening Santa this Christmas I would want a few pieces of kit, as well as some garden features that would make my gardening life more attractive and varied. I do have a pond, but it is a tiny apology for a pond. I would like it to be larger and to have wonderful plants in it, such as waterlilies.
Childhood memories of my mother’s collection of amaryllis in flower drive me annually to purchase these great packages of future delight. Bulbs of any sort offer deferred pleasure to the gardeners, but amaryllis seem so celebratory. Amaryllis flowers open on tall fleshy stems from large buds, and provide rich velvety colour over a long period.
Well, have you got yours yet? It is that time of year to buy a Christmas tree and get it set up and decorated. Last weekend I went to Blackthorpe Barn (www.blackthorpebarn.co.uk) where until 22 December you can buy a potted Christmas tree or a cut tree for your festivities.
This is the time of year when seasonal houseplants are at their best for you to enjoy indoors to brighten the festivities. I was given a wonderfully bright red begonia, which I am hoping I can provide the right conditions for in my kitchen.
I make regular checks on my stored apples to remove any that are rotting, so that the bulk of the harvest isn’t affected. I am working through a bucket-load of apples that were slightly bruised as windfalls. I have been cutting them into slices and blanching them before freezing them to use in desserts in due course.
Short days, long nights and that withdrawal from getting into the garden… no, not really, it just feels like it. I am making plans for the plants that next year are going to offer me fragrance and structure, as well as colour in the winter garden. There are already some in place that are going to be stars this season. The firethorn berries are glowing at the moment and although the birds are eating the holly berries, these are left until later in the season.
Late-flowering and offering a profusion of bronze-red flowers with gold reverses and abundant buds, Chrysanthemum ‘Chelsea Physic Garden’ is providing a real blaze of colour in the garden now. It is said to flower well into winter, so I will be keeping an eye on it. This late-autumn charmer is tall, growing to over 90cm and I have secured it to one of my metal obelisks. It is hardy and grows well in full sun in a well-drained soil.