JOHN’S JOURNAL

A Change in the Seasons at Holden Clough

Normally at this time of year the frosts have begun, you can’t quite believe it’s the middle of November and the temperature is 16 degrees! It was nice to have a hard frost the other day which is the signal for many perennials to die back and it’s a great time to get on top of things at The Nursery along with you at home in your garden, it is hard to keep up with the weather though and it does make us wonder whether a warm and wet Winter is on the way or maybe a cold and frosty one…..!

At The Nursery, now is the time that we start cutting back in The Growing Field, some plants have begun to die down and now we can remove all the growth before it starts to break down and make a mess of the ground cover and the pots, before we know it they will begin shooting away and depending how the winter pans out all depends how long the perennials will stay dormant for! The Kaffir Lillies however are looking splendid, with their forward facing flowers of white, red or pink, they will flower on into December, or until the harder frosts set in, perfect for a late splash of colour!

Its also time for us to finish propagating the Alpines and the milder temperatures are working to our advantage, helping keep the compost nice and warm to encourage those new roots, it’s also a time of year not to get lulled into a false sense of security with the temperatures, last year at the end of November it was our second Christmas Market and we had 3 inches of Snowfall that Sunday morning followed by a -10 degree frost, Lancashire became similar to the Arctic within 24 hours! At the nursery we are preparing for another season of Christmas markets, with our first one starting next Friday! There’s a great lineup of Artisans and Makers including lots of new ones and there are 5 Market weekends in total leading up to the big day, with the Fridays being a great chance to see what new and exciting things they have all been busy making before they get snapped up!

The nursery has been transformed into a Winter Wonderland and it really is like nowhere else, back in the day at this time of year the nursery would close with the gardening season winding down, whereas now it comes back to life and we can’t wait to show you all what we have been busy with…..Wreath Making Workshops in The Potting Shed, a calendar of Christmas Markets, A Frameyard filled with Winter plants and a World of All Things Christmas for you to immerse yourselves in…..its really going to be a season to remember! 

 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Here you can send in and find out the answers to those gardening problems?

 

Why is my Magnolia flowering now?

Sometimes they can throw off flowers at odd times of year, it’s nothing to worry about though! It will also still flower its socks off in Spring as long as it’s nice and happy, if it isn’t heavily budded then just make sure to give it a feed with Vitax Q4 in March along with all your other flowering shrubs and perennials, this way when it comes to produce its buds in July it will have all the energy it needs to do so

Do you get Pot Grown Christmas trees?

Yes you do and there is also a big difference in ‘Pot Grown’ compared to ‘Potted’! The former is where they have been grown in pots all their life with a strong root system, and 100% of it is inside that pot, so either pot it on or plant it out. Then ‘Potted’ means that it has freshly been dug out of the ground, be careful here though as the roots will have had a lot removed to fit in the pot, and come January/February time the tree could be getting quite stressed and have some transplant shock so it’s always best to get ‘Pot Grown’ Christmas trees and at the nursery you will find the Oak Pergola filled with them…..all individually named!

Can you divide perennials now?

Yes any of the clump forming varieties like Iris, Hostas, Astilbes etc can all be lifted up, have a spade sliced through them and then replanted in clumps, discard the old woody centre if there is enough new growth around the edges and mix in some organic matter when you replant.

 

JOBS FOR THE WEEKEND

1 – WRAP UP OLIVES AND BAYS

If they are in pots it’s time to wrap bubble wrap around the pots and you can then dress it with Hessian, this way it prevents the hard frosts from freezing the roots solid

2 – LIFT DAHLIAS

Now the hard frost finished off their flowers and they are dying down, lift them, shake off all the soil and store in a dry, dark, cool place for the Winter

3 –TIDY UP THE GREENHOUSE

It’s the perfect time to have a good tidy and also clean out any flowerpots and get them all ready for Spring

4 – CLEAN GARDEN FURNITURE

Give it a good clean and then either put it into storage or cover it over for the Winter

 

PLANT OF THE WEEK