- I know it’s very grey outside and also very damp but don’t let that put you off. There are still about 7 hours of decent daylight each day so get out there and do your thing.
- Finish cutting back those herbaceous perennials. Some, such as Sedums, you may have kept for winter structure but find they have collapsed already. Give them up to the compost bin and think of the money you are saving next year when you can mulch your own beds with what you have made.
- Give those paths a weed, scrape and hose down. Enjoy the comfort that a tidy path can bring. Many weeds are quite weak at the moment so it’s an easier time to do this job.
- Cover up tender plants that are too big (or too planted!) to move to shelter. You can either try pegging on a protective membrane, or buy them pre-made into bags with a drawstring. I prefer the coloured green bags that don’t look so obtrusive:
- These Echium pininana, will stand a much greater chance of survival this way.
- Keep sweeping leaves off the lawn – Hooray for leaf mould. We must count ourselves lucky that we get it for free. Either add to the compost, or pile in special area just for decomposing leaves or bag it up into black bin liners, tie the tops and stab the bags with holes. Hide under a tree or behind the shed and leave to decompose.
- Prune rambling roses:
- These ones grow along wires at the moat edge. We cut out the dead, diseased or damaged wood first. Then we take out some of the older stems right back to the base.
- Of the remaining stems we cut back all the side shoots to 3 or 4 buds and when all that is done we tie them back to the wires keeping them close to the horizontal (to increase the number of flowering stems) but in a decorative and wavy pattern. We always use garden twine that will gradually rot away and not damage the plant.
So…. we are still out there looking after gardens and plants.
Todays garden stars are the gorgeous rose-hips and colourful Salvias, which are still clinging to their vibrant flowers despite what the weatherman keeps throwing at them.
Top Tips for a Wintery Rainy Day
- Start the day with a warm up job – like raking
- At least 3 x pairs of gloves and 2 x hats, to be exchanged during the day.
- A good pair of waterproofs and equally a change of clothes half way through a session.
- Thick socks and thick soled waterproof boots (I love my muck boots)
- Some good music on the radio or a enjoyable play or a great friend to chat to.
- A friendly robin to keep you entertained, to feed and keep your spirits high
- Hot drinks all day and soup for lunch.
- A warm house and hot bath to warm up those bones at the end of the day