I actually did some gardening last weekend,
I’ve been a bit slack recently, but more frost threatens, so all the tender plants have been moved into the shed or the porch and tulip planting is almost done.
I’ve also made a plan for December gardening tasks:
It’s been so mild that a few roses are still flowering in my garden, some of the leaves looked far from healthy this summer, a bit crinkled and spotty, so I’ll have make sure that I clear the fallen leaves from the base of the plants, to stop any fungal disease lurking and re-appearing next year.
These are on my wish-list, I particularly like the lace-cap ones, if you have them in your garden, leave the old flowers on the plant for winter protection.
They can be dug up now and stored away from the winter chill, or you can leave them where they are and protect them with a thick layer of compost.
Trees and shrubs:
Planting them at this time of year gives them time to settle in before things warm up next year, though it’s best to delay planting if the ground is frozen or water-logged.
I love pruning, it makes me feel that I’m in control of what’s going on in the garden, and it’s good to lop off diseased bits of plants. All that wayward growth on vines can be cut off, back to a healthy pair of buds. Acers and birch trees can also be pruned if they need shaping or there’s a branch in the wrong place.
All the above plants will bleed sap profusely from the wound if they’re pruned in spring, which can result in disease getting into the plant.
I’m always trying to attract birds into the garden, they help to keep pests under control. Winter is tough, especially for smaller birds, so I’ve strung up bird-cake in the magnolia tree and filled the bird-feeders and I’m keeping the bird bath topped up and free from leaves.
Improving the soil:
Keeping the soil in good condition is one of my obsessions, good soil helps plants to grow healthy, so I’ve got a few bags of compost to spread over the soil to get it ready for next year.
The outside tap has yet to be covered with a coat of bubble-wrap, then that’s it untill next year.
Happy gardening, Jill
all photos: Jill Anderson