Garden News January 2021
I share my winter garden in the 23 January 2021 edition of Garden News magazine.
On the whole December has been mild and this has reflected in the garden with colourful blooms extending far beyond what seed packets and labels would suggest. Our exquisitely scented Peace rose is flowering AGAIN in the front garden, as is a clump of self seeded calendula ‘Indian Prince’ and antirrhinum ‘Royal Bride!’
Winter stems ignite our back border at this time of year and will continue till spring but I took a few stem cuttings of Cornus alba 'Sibirica,' dogwood for decorations and to make a door wreath.
The garden has an abundance of natural treasures. To bring the outside inside I picked bunches of variegated holly and Corylus avellana 'Contorta' Corkscrew hazel and wove fairy lights through them to complete the festive look.
I compiled envelops of collected flower seed for Christmas presents alongside nurturing propagated plants. Everyone got homemade or homegrown presents this year! Many Silver Squill, Sansevieria, Pelargonium and Pilea were wrapped as gifts alongside framed photos of gardens and plants.
I have given my houseplants a winter MOT. They are certainly not calming down for dormancy though, quite the opposite, many are boasting beautiful new shoots. I have gone round each plant removing dead leaves, rotating for light, watering after allowing them to fully dry out. I am fighting a losing battle with mealybugs on my Dracaena marginata, Dragon tree but the plant is still hanging in there, for now. Tradescantia zebrina cascades down our dresser as does the fabulous Aporocactus flagelliformis, Rat’s Tail Cactus. Euphorbia milii, Crown of Thorns still has a smattering of inviting tiny white flowers contrasting against its ominous thorny stems.
Whilst the soil was still warm I tackled my veg bed, which was swamped with strawberry runners. I LOVE strawberries but I now find myself with a strawberry bed rather than a flexible space to grow a variety of veg, herbs and flowers so I have had to be brave and have a clear out. The silver lining was I passed on transplanted plants on to a friend, so nothing was wasted.
Our apple tree desperately needs its winter prune. It has completely outgrown the space; the tall, long branches shade raised beds and the greenhouse. I started reducing the height last year and will continue taking out overhanging extremities, staggering the processes so we still get a crop next year.
Hints of 2021 peep above ground. My borders are littered in a carpet of forget-me-not foliage and spring bulbs already emerge, teasing me with a promise of what is to come, signalling hope for the New Year.
My highlight: Our Phalaenopsis, orchid returning to life with a long stem of impressive blooms.
All photos © Debi Holland