Garden News Magazine January 2022
Winter is the perfect time to take stock of the garden and plot new projects. What grew well and what areas might need an edit?
Our apple tree had a good prune. I’ve been gradually reducing the height over the last couple of years. Do not know what I would do without my long reach pruner! Saves me having to get up a ladder.
I have been cutting back some wildflowers and herbaceous perennial stems, still lots remain for wildlife habitat but there comes a point where some foliage has just gone past it! With a little more space revealed in the borders I’ve carried on mulching, providing a welcomed blanket on top of moist soil and copious newly planted bulbs! I use Plantgrow’s organic Pure Blend, it has a great texture and is a natural soil conditioner too.
Cornus alba ‘Sibirica' and Cornus sericea ‘Flaviramea’ are really taking centre stage now, the fallen leaves have exposed the red and green stems ladened with pure white berries. The contrast is stunning.
I propagated a lot of plants for presents but they dried out quickly inside, succumbing to the pampered charms of the central heating - luckily easily remedied with a good drink. Some plants were difficult to give away as they looked incredibly cute divided up into little pots. I’m thrilled with the South African Ledebouria socialis, Silver Squill; the mottled leaves are really unusual. I recycle old plastic mushroom punnets as pot trays so I can contain watering.
I collected a lot of seed which I bagged up into little brown ‘dinner money’ envelops and enclosed in Christmas cards. Hope that will get everyone growing in 2022. Seeds included poppies, nigella, chives, evening primrose, aquilegia, antirrhinums, echinops and scabious.
I could not resist one more trip to the bulb sales. Have to confess I came home with another overflowing bag of tulip and allium bulbs. After last month’s bargain buys were planted I discovered I hardly had any for the front garden. I’d been dreaming of borders packed with bulbs so didn’t want to miss the opportunity. 200 bulbs later I’m hoping the front will be singing with colour to brighten up spring. I am smitten with colour changing chameleon tulips ‘Nostalgia’ which will turn from yellow to pink to red as they age and the exquisite stripes of ‘Marilyn’ and ‘Sorbet.’ These will sit well nestled amongst the newly planted ‘Queen of Night,’ and 100 Allium hollandicum ‘Purple Sensation,’ A. cristophii and A. sphaerocephalon.
There is always something to do in the garden. Here’s to more exciting gardening adventures in 2022.
Moroccan mint providing me with a homegrown nightcap all the way through December!
All photos © Debi Holland 2022