JOHN’S JOURNAL

A Time to Plan

It’s amazing how quickly the big day comes around, after weeks of building up to it and preparations it’s been and gone, with most of us still  in indulgence mode until the new year arrives then it’s time for a few new resolutions to ourselves! What will we stop doing, what do you want to do more of, what have you never done before? And how exciting is the fact that Spring is the next season around the corner….! Yes it may be just over a couple of months away but the weeks that lie ahead of us are the perfect time to plan and prepare for it, and like your resolutions have a think about what new things you can be doing in your garden this year, the sky’s the limit!

As they teach us at school proper planning prevents poor performance and the gardening world revolves around the seasons and also changes by the week, it also follows a pattern so whatever you learn after one year make sure you write it down, not just the things you did wrong but all the things that you did right, otherwise you will focus on righting those wrongs and the things you did do right you will forget and do wrong! So that’s a big starting point, a lot of you may have also received books over christmas or been browsing through magazines dreaming of the longer days and sunnier weather, they are a great place to find inspiration and as the saying goes if it looks right it is right, so if you see something you like the look of break it down and begin to plan how you can bring that to your own garden.

Sometimes you can feel like you don’t know where to turn with what to do with your garden, you really can do anything and a good place to start is with a piece of paper, writing down everything that you would like to include, it may be an endless list or it may be really simple. Sometimes it’s worth getting some assistance with coming up with the initial layout, I know that’s exactly how we did our garden when we had just moved into the house, and getting a plan drawn up for you (which is of course something we can help with) gives you a great starting block and it will often be revolved around a layout you never even thought of, gardens should be an extension of the home and they should also pick up on the openings and views from your house, a useable space as well, whatever the time of year.

So happy brainstorming and as I say don’t be scared to ask for help, and as I say the skies the limit and anything is possible!

 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

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

 

Is it too late to take cuttings?

It’s too late to take most cuttings at this time of year however, it is the perfect time to take hardwood cuttings. Plants like Dogwoods, Sambucus and Willow will all come from hardwood cuttings, where you cut the stem up into 6 inch lengths and simply stick them in the soil, make sure it’s the correct way up and they will spring to life in the Spring and grow new roots.

 

Will forced Narcissus come back again next year?

They won’t flower again this Spring but if you plant them out in the garden straight after they have finished flowering they will die down in Spring and then come back again at their natural time the following year, feed with Tomato food over the coming weeks as well to help bulk the bulbs up for the following year.

 

Can I pot on plants now?

During drier spells you can as you just need to be careful you don’t turn the compost to mud if it’s too wet, any shrubs and trees which are staying in pots can happily be potted on then remember to give them a feed as well when it gets nearer to Spring, they will appreciate the extra space for their roots

 

 

Jobs for the weekend

 

Plant of The Week

Viburnum tinus

One of the many Winter flowering shrubs bearing glossy green leaves topped with lots of pin-cushion-like white flowers blushed pink. Great for sun or shade and make sure to feed in Spring to give it energy to be covered in blooms the following Winter