Terry Wal­ton is lift­ing chrysanths on his plot

...so it’s time to make sea­sonal dec­o­ra­tions and lift chrysanths

Garden News (UK) - - Contents - TERRY WAL­TON

Tis the sea­son to be jolly and I can make a start on my sea­sonal dec­o­ra­tions. I use some of the stal­warts of the gar­den to dec­o­rate our home – and what bet­ter than to ‘deck our halls with boughs of holly’!

Mistle­toe also seems to be in abun­dance af­ter a very good sum­mer. This par­a­sitic plant has formed huge clumps in trees, rich in those del­i­cate, translu­cent berries. Go on get some – who knows, that kiss un­der the bunch may rekin­dle the ro­mance in your life! Sea­son­able plants are there to be har­vested now but don’t slaugh­ter them. Prune only what you need be­cause they’re vi­tal food for our feath­ered friends. De­cem­ber 21 sig­nals the short­est day and then soon the light will be ex­tend­ing again as we march into a new and ex­cit­ing year. It’s time to lift and bring chrysan­the­mums stools in­doors, much later than nor­mal, be­fore the cold of win­ter sets in. De­spite a few sharp frosts, these have con­tin­ued to bloom and sup­ply bunches of beau­ti­ful blooms. Armed with scis­sors, se­ca­teurs and fork, the first job is to re­move the la­bel that iden­ti­fies each one and place this in the pot that will house that va­ri­ety. Cut the old fo­liage from its sup­port­ing cane and slip out the cane be­fore us­ing the se­ca­teurs to snip off old fo­liage at just above ground level. Us­ing the fork, lift the stool from the soil and place it in its pot with an iden­ti­fy­ing la­bel. The old fo­liage can be stacked to dry out and later in the win­ter it can be burnt as it’s very woody. These pots are then taken to the green­house and ex­cess soil re­moved be­fore pot­ting them in fresh com­post and stick­ing the la­bel back in. They’re placed on the stag­ing and wa­tered lightly. Wait un­til new shoots ap­pear be­fore snip­ping them off to sup­ply next year’s new plants.

With most of the leaves off the trees and birds not nest­ing, I can trim the trees at the bot­tom of the plot. These make too much shade if they grow too thick. Us­ing lop­pers I thin the branches to al­low light through and at the same time pro­vide my­self with twiggy sup­ports for next year’s peas.

The com­post heap that was un­der my pump­kin is back! There’s not much waste ma­te­rial com­ing off the plot so it can be cov­ered with a black plas­tic sheet to help it heat up.

Repo ing chrysanths brought in from the cold I’m now lift­ing chrysanths for over­win­ter­ing

Mak­ing new pea sticks

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