The fiery-coloured autumn leaves have dropped now and the scene outside my window is monochrome, wintery and calm.
My garden is changing into a more restful state, there are fewer things to do and the pace is nice and slow.
I was out in my garden yesterday, moving plants around. The low, clipped box hedge around this particular border had succumbed to Box Tree Blight, leaving a big gap at the front, but giving me the opportunity to re-design the planting.
It felt a bit like a chore at first, but was soon transformed into a relaxing time. With the company of a robin, I quietly got on with changes that have needed doing for a while. Clearing everything away afterwards, I felt a happy satisfaction of a completed task and I’m looking forward to more time in the garden later in the week.
I tell you all this, because it is a perfect time to be moving plants that are in the wrong place or planting new trees and shrubs. It’s cold, but the soil is still relatively warm, and plants are becoming dormant. It’s a good time to be gardening because we haven’t reached that bone-chilling January cold yet, and even when we do it’s good to be outside.
Make Leaf Mould
This particular task needs a re-branding, Leaf mould is a grim name, for what is a wonderful material and not at all mouldy. When it’s decomposed, it’s chocolate-brown, crumbly and full of goodness that improves soil no end.
Simply gather up leaves and store them in left-over plastic bags. Punch holes in the bottom with a garden fork and store them out of the way.
It takes a couple of years to turn into crumbly leaf mould, I know that does seem like a long time, but they need no attention and your patience will be rewarded with this amazing stuff.
Another bonus, is that it completes a neat circle of life, no waste, no buying in and zero transportation.
This is the time to start planting tulips, and any other bulbs that you haven’t got round to planting. Ideally they say that other spring flowering bulbs should have been planted in September/October, but I always have a few bulbs waiting still waiting to go in the soil. Late planting doesn’t seem to make too much difference, they’re just later to flower.
In other words, don’t feel bad about it, that’s the antithesis of restful, gardening.
Feed the Birds
I’m putting a range of different types of bird food in my garden, we’re after diversity here.
- Put water out in containers on the ground and keep it topped up. Place stones in containers as an escape route for small creatures.
- Keep bird feeders topped up with a variety of seed.
- Make bird food with a mix of fat, seeds and raisins, form into shapes, placed in metal frames, to hang in trees.
There’s the advantage of seeing birds in your garden, knowing that you’ve helped them through times when there’s not so much natural food around. They’ll repay you in the spring by eating pests.
Similar bird feeder from A Short Walk here. They design and make lots of interesting garden related products.
More about Box Tree Moth from the R.H.S. here.
Lastly, I’m sorry for the late posting of this, but you know how things are at the moment. Thank you for your patience, because I really appreciate you reading this.
Keep well and enjoy your garden.
All photos: Jill Anderson.
except the apple bird feeder!