Getting it all ready for Christmas
It’s not often that I write my final column for the year and mention the words “wet and warm” in it. We’re not actually “steamy” but not far from it when the clouds disperse and that sun appears.
Phil and I are lucky to be spending this week (that’s the plan..) in our garden at home and timing couldn’t be more perfect for planting. The soil is wondrously warm and damp. A customer has just told me that the soil temp in his garden is 23 degrees!
All the plants thrive in these conditions and it’s so lovely to look up and see the Peak still green. A green Christmas is a fabulous present to a gardener!
Yesterday we trimmed the huge buxus hedge — time is right for hedge trimming. When you trim you expose foliage that hasn’t seen the sun before and it can easily be sunburnt. Be careful not to trim when the temperatures are high and the forecast is for lots of sunny days.
If foliage is burnt the leaves go blonde and it won’t grow out — it will drop off!
Then you have to wait for another batch of new growth which will take many weeks and you are left with a very ugly hedge indeed.
So watch the weather report — trim at the right time and fertilise and water afterwards. Hedges should be fed throughout the year and a good option is ICAN Slow Food. It feeds slowly for a two year period, so it’s a bit like the Wet and Forget in fertiliser. I use it on pretty much everything and it’s very safe in pots and even indoors.
A pot costs just $14.99 and goes a really long way. Perfect for roses too, though I give them some extra Novatec to boost them back into flower as quickly as possible.
If you are trimming buxus now is the time to start spraying them with a preventative\curative spray for Buxus blight. Buxus Blight Fighter is what you need — we have a great spray programme for you which we are following with great results.
Getting Ready for Christmas: Next week I must remember (note to self) to haul out the slightly neglected living Christmas tree and perk it up with some INSTANT food. Not Slow Food, but ICAN Fast Food is going to be required to bring back the nice green look in time for Christmas. I might have to disguise some of my neglect with some well-placed ornamentation… It appears to have developed a gap at the back as I’ve failed to turn that side to the sun from time to time and there’s no way it’s going to fill that gap in three weeks.
Which brings me to the pots. Three weeks is enough time to plant up the pots and get them nice and mingley before Christmas. Last-minute planting of pots not only costs you twice as much (as they haven’t doubled in size) but also they end up looking quite stiff. I hate stiff in a pot. Flowers and foliage need to mingle and look entrancingly natural. This CAN happen in three weeks, I’m sure of it.
What to choose is the dilemma. There is soooo much to choose from. It’s quite nice to have a bit of red as it is Christmas. We are having a “special” family Christmas this year as my nephew and his wife are here from England, so all the stops will have to be pulled out. It’s time I started trolling the food mags for some new recipes too as they are such foodies. It’s a busy month — but don’t stress, ‘cos whatever you don’t do this year you can “save” for 2019!
Get the garden ready for Christmas.