‘To Do’ List
Service the lawnmower
I always put off doing this but I have noticed puffs of smoke coming out of the mower when it is first started so I think it needs some TLC.
❁ Cut back hellebore leaves
Hellebores produce such large, leathery leaves that they can easily engulf the flowers. I cut the leaves right back.
❁ Make a new flower bed
There’s a really uneven patch in the lawn and this winter I plan to dig it up and make it into a flower bed — I saw a lovely mixture of lavender, alliums and ornamental grasses recently and hope to try out this combination.
❁ Feed the lawn
The flowerbeds have had a good mulch so now it’s the time for the lawn. I did have one of those special spreaders for the fertiliser but it gave such an uneven flow that I ended up with patches of different shades of green, yellow and brown — depending on how much of the granules had been deposited. I’m going to do it by hand this time.
❁ Take rose cuttings
I have a lovely Blush Noisette rose that has clusters of pink flowers and a wonderful scent. It is so well behaved with glossy, disease-resistant leaves and two flushes of flowers that several friends have asked me if I could take cuttings for them. I’ve never done this before but it seems quite straightforward. I need to cut a good strong stem produced in the summer into lengths of about 8-12 inches ensuring there is a bud at the top and bottom of each one. Then all the leaves except one at the top of each cutting need to go before the bases are dipped in rooting compound. I’ll stick all the cuttings round the edge of a container of sand or compost, cover with a plastic bag and put in the greenhouse. Simples!
Regular readers will know that I am very fond of hedgehogs and have a resident family in the garden. So I was pleased to receive a newsletter from the Hedgehog Preservation Society — whose Patron is Sir Ken Dodd OBE. It’s full of interesting information including the announcement that RHS Harlow Carr has officially opened a Hedgehog Street Garden to show visitors that no matter what your style of gardening you can still be hedgehog friendly. The Society also produces a
with lots of hedgehoggy goodies ideal for Christmas. For more details see www. britishhedgehogs.org.uk