by June Cynthia, 4th October 2021
Now is a great time to prepare your garden for the winter, says June Cynthia
I awoke this morning to a beautiful autumnal misty morning. I could just about make out the ethereal sight of giant straw cotton reels peeping through the mist in the field at the bottom of my garden. The pheasants looked quite bemused as their cover over the last few months had been blown! One or two of them, I'm pleased to say, found sanctuary in my garden. I threw down a handful or two of corn and peanuts for them whilst I sat there with my early morning cup of tea. What a great start to the day!
Talking of busy times, misty mornings are a sign that it's time to start preparing our gardens for the winter. Cut back or pull out spent annual plants and generally tidy up your flower beds or vegetable plots. Lightly prune your roses now, leaving a harder prune for next spring. Make quite sure there are no black spot infected leaves left on the soil as the disease lies dormant and will surely infect next year’s roses. Burn them if you find any.
Plant spring bulbs like daffodils etc now for a wonderful display next year. Tulips of course are better planted in Nov/Dec. the reason for this is that they are less likely in the colder months to suffer from the viruses that were prevalent during the Tulipmania Golden Age in Holland. People lost their livelihoods and homes because of these viruses. One of which was botritis or fire blight or mycelial neck rot. I digress but urge you to read up on the fascinating history of the tulip; it's mind blowing. So plant your tulips during the colder months as we don't want the disappointment of fire blight on our tulips do we? Oh and don't pay a 'kings ransom' for your bulbs.
As well as spring flowers, there are very many beautiful winter flowering shrubs like Viburnum tinus, which is in flower at Christmas time. It is particularly attractive with holly for festive door wreathes or table decorations. Hamamelis mollis or witch hazel, is another favourite of mine as it has the most exquisite perfume.
So my tip to you is to take a trip to your garden centre to have a look at their wonderful selection for winter garden colour and perfume. Oh and don't forget the array of colourful foliages, as some of these are just stunning.
Remember, before you buy check the aspect/size/ph of soil your plant needs and then enjoy choosing. There are usually members of very well trained staff on hand to help you at our garden centres so make use of them if you are unsure.
Whatever you do, have fun and enjoy those fabulous misty autumnal mornings. Life's good in the garden.