Even now, approaching mid-December, there are still a number of flower heads despite five or six nights of heavy frost over the last two weeks.
It has very definitely cheered up my Monday.
Pádraig, 12th December 2016.
Pádraig, 12th December 2016.
|Narcissus Ziva (click for details)|
Interestingly, I find myself walking much more slowly. On the flip-side, this slow walking leads me to see small tasks that need attending to. Here’s today’s three:
|Task 2: replace the pane to stop draughts|
|Task 3: kill the critters the frost left behind!|
|Helleborus Christmas Carol (click for details)|
|Brassica gemmifera Roodnerf|
|Chop off the heads for quicker ripening|
I still have a few notebooks hanging around. There’s one in the shed, one in the glasshouse and one beside the laptop. I also scribble on the back of seed packets, and even put a few post-it notes where I cannot fail to notice them.
“Forget rummaging through different reference books and notepads, with a My Garden Notebook you can keep all your gardening information in a single place.”
Unfortunately, I still have to dig the vegetable patch in spring, together with all other tasks that involve actually going outside to the garden!
|Helleborus niger Christmas Carol|
Today, I completed a small construction project idea that I read about online. The idea was to make some cozy winter hibernation places in various corners for ground insects.
Next, using saved prunings from the two fuchsia bushes, I stuffed each with small twigs. Finally, I placed each one in a sheltered corner and covered them with leaves and old pieces of timber. The timber will keep the leaves in place.
|Fuchsia twigs (blurred for effect)|
So, let the winter cold and frost arrive. I’m sure many of the beneficial ground insects will discover these hotels very quickly. These are waterproof and warm. Each one has a front and rear entrance, great for chasing games. What more could they want? I’ll be watching for comings and goings during the winter, and likely these garden creatures will be active much earlier next spring. There will also be lots of sex in these new modern accommodation blocks, and there will be a big increase in the population.
|Well-hidden, yet both openings accessible|
I have bought geraniums most years, for as long as I can remember because they are one of my favourite flowering plants. I tried growing them from seed a few years ago, but they worked out quite expensive as packets usually contain only a small number of seeds. Additionally, the seed is classed as not easy yo germinate.
This year I bought three potted Geraniums, and they have provided very good colour from early June until now. I have moved them from their new large stone pot into the glasshouse in order to prolong flowering, and to protect them from the cold winter. I will watch out for any lingering whitefly or mould, and quickly nip it in the bud.
They are easy to grow, and easy to care for. Additionally, they are easy to propagate from stem cuttings. I checked for plant information on the RHS website, which is my online reference of choice, and here’s what it has to say:
How to grow:
Grow in fertile well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Remove spent flowers. To overwinter, grow small plants in late summer from cuttings or cut back old plants by one third and lift for storage in frost-free place to repot in spring when growth resumes
How to care
Pruning: Deadhead regularly
Diseases: Foot and root rots can be a problem in wet soils. Grey moulds are often troublesome in wet conditions. A virus can often be a problem where cultivars are maintained by cuttings. Pelargonium rust can be damaging to zonal pelargoniums and associated hybrids.