JOHN’S JOURNAL

Let it Snow…..

Well what a weekend…..Rain, Wind and then heavy Snow! One of the beautiful things about this time of year is always when the snow falls, everything is covered with a pure white blanket and at the nursery it has to be one of the most beautiful times of year, the polar opposite to the Summer scenery yet so beautiful in its own right.

Last weekend was also the hardest frost of the year so far, down to -9 degrees celsius at the nursery and thankfully the snow was around, you don’t realise it but that in itself gives its own insulation, so it even caught us off guard a little yet nature has its funny ways of working with you, it’s now time to get the winter frost fleeces out and finish off our final jobs of putting the growing beds to bed for the Winter. This is also one of the reasons why not to prune shrubs too hard in the Autumn, as the top foliage plays a valuable role through the Winter months, helping shelter the heart of the plant and then in the spring the new shoots can emerge form lower down if the top growth has taken a battering by the Winter.

Make sure to keep your paths gritted as well, it may have warmed up since last weekend but look how quickly the snow arrived and it can happen at any time so be prepared! The wildlife also need a helping hand at times and now you can literally watch the berries disappearing off the trees as they begin to race against each other gathering food for the Winter months ahead. Bird feeders and fat balls make a delightful treat for our feathered friends.

Keep an eye on your ponds as well, an old football can sometimes help just keep the water moving and if it does happen to frost over then make sure to break it up the following morning to help your pond life.

At the nursery we are busy making wreaths and garlands, along with housing our family of Named Nordmann Christmas Trees and with 3 more weekends of Christmas Markets all with their own name, Spruce, Sleigh and Snowflake it’s the perfect time to enjoy a visit to the nursery and enjoy our world of all things Christmas. In The Potting shed the nursery team is busy away with the final potting of the season, Spring Bulbs and some late perennial divisions to go off out into the Growing Field, acclimatising them to the northern climate before they pop their heads up in the Spring, that’s a few months away and it’s time to enjoy the weeks ahead and look forward to what Mother Nature has lined up for us!

 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

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

What plants are good for Winter colour in pots?

Heucheras are perfect for winter interest in pots, whether they be in sun or shade, they have beautiful coloured foliage and then flowers during the Summer months. You can also combine them with other plants to compliment their colours for added interest

How do I get my Holly bush to berry?

Holly bushes are either male or female, the females bear the berries and the males then pollinate them in the Spring. You do need both male and female plants nearby but not in the same garden! So firstly plant a female and then if you don’t get berries the following year plant a male. A male Holly can pollinate a large radius so it doesn’t have to be in your garden, they can get pollinated off a male Holly nearby.

Do I need to protect my pot plants from frost?

Most outdoor plants will be fine, however plants like Bay trees and other semi tender plants will want a little protection, hessian wrap the pots with bubble wrap below to help prevent their roots from freezing. Any plants which are more tender like Dahlias and tender bulbous plants want bringing into a greenhouse or garage for Winter storage, keep an eye out for mice aswell!

 

Plant of The Week

Helleborous niger

Commonly known as the Christmas Rose bearing beautiful pure white flowers held above green foliage. You can use it in containers to combine with other plants and then in the Spring plant it out in the garden, perfect for a shaded position under trees and it will come back every year.