‘To Do’ List

Ser­vice the lawnmower

This England - - News -

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

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