My gar­den­ing di­ary

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Ten­der plants are in dan­ger of ge ing dam­aged by frost now. There’s a rush to get them un­der cover. Al­ready space in the green­house is at a pre­mium, though tak­ing out the last toma­toes and cu­cum­bers has given us a bit more room. TUES­DAY

We planted out small plants of pars­ley a few weeks ago and they’ll be well es­tab­lished be­fore the cold re­ally bites. Pick­ing a bunch of fresh pars­ley on a mid­win­ter’s day is a real plea­sure and hav­ing fresh green leaves is good for your health. WEDNES­DAY

Plant­ing up a cou­ple of con­tain­ers with a pre y species tulip, ‘Cyn­thia’, a va­ri­ety of Tulipa clu­siana, the lady tulip. It’s no taller than 40cm (1⅓ft), with slim, glau­cous leaves. I’ll be in­ter­ested to see how all my tulips fare af­ter the heat­wave for Dutch grow­ers this sum­mer. THURS­DAY

It’s an ex­cep­tion­ally good year for nuts and berries and it seems a shame not to make use of the boun­ti­ful crop to grow some new shrubs and trees. Most berries need a pe­riod of cold to break their dor­mancy and spur them into growth. FRI­DAY

Af­ter the odd gale this year, there’s a lot of bro­ken twigs un­der the trees around the gar­den, so I’ve been col­lect­ing li le piles of them when I pass by. This is great for kin­dling but will also make col­lect­ing up the leaves for leaf mould eas­ier. SATUR­DAY

Neil has asked me to keep grow­ing le uce like we did last year. We both like to eat some fresh green stuff through the year. ‘Li le Gem’ is re­ally de­li­cious and it’s a de­light to eat fresh salad in De­cem­ber. SUN­DAY

In­spired by all the talk of win­ter salad, Neil has taken it upon him­self to shear down a few of our enor­mous clumps of sor­rel, the re­li­able, lemony main­stay of nearly all our sal­ads. We fully ex­pect to see fresh new growth within a fort­night.

‘Cyn­thia’ tulips will grace a cou­ple of con­tain­ers in spring

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