JOHN’S JOURNAL

The New Year Unfolds…..

I love the feeling in January, yes the weather has a lot to answer for and we all can’t wait until Spring arrives but January is a month of reflection and also a chance to get any new plans in place! At Holden Clough something very exciting has happened…..in October we reopened our Cafe as the new ‘Tales from The Reading Room Kitchen’, and our hunt then began to find someone special to then take over the reins to develop and grow the food offering at the nursery. This began in October and in November we had found the perfect couple!

So as of this week we turn a new corner at Holden Clough, Nick and Natasha have now taken over the food offering at the nursery and there’s some very exciting developments on the way. Our new partners bring many years of experience in the industry both in the kitchen and front of house and they look forward to developing the synergy of food with plants following the seasons in a very unique way, with Lancashire also in mind and their Chef Ollie on board in the Kitchen who competed in the recently aired Masterchef The Professionals they have a great skill set and knowledge amongst them.

So now it’s time to watch this space and also pop up and see what’s on the menu! I have to say to myself it will become a great temptation … I’m a big foodie and even with the January diet in full swing its always hard to resist. We just know as soon as the Spring season begins it will really help enhance the trip out to Holden Clough, it was always sad in 2020 when we closed the doors to The Garden Kitchen but it was time for change, and with some interesting years in the interim it’s now nice to have things back on more of an even keel! 

We have been busy planning out the year ahead and probably like many of you are still trying to finish off getting the last few of our bulbs in their pots! There is still time so don’t worry, January and February are also great months to take stock, have a rest, set your mind alive with thoughts of the year ahead and formulate a plan. With the sideshift in the Cafe this will now allow us to focus more on the nursery and get ready for the RHS 2023 Master Grower display at the RHS Tatton Park along with lots of other things we have on the way for you!

So here’s to new beginnings with our food and we are very excited to see it grow and develop…..

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

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

 

Do I divide Alliums?

Believe it or not there are some varieties which grow that strongly that they need dividing. Allium Purple Rain and Allium Mt Everest being two of them, the time to do it is right away now, you will be able to see them just starting to appear so lift them with a fork and tease the bulbs apart, dividing them then helps give the bulbs more space to swell and produce bigger flowers next year. If you leave it until Autumn by then they will have already made their mind up and need a further season to then swell their bulbs so now is the perfect time.

 

Can I move shrubs now?

Yes it’s a good time to move either anything newly planted or you can move established plants, the ground is nice and moist and the main thing is just to make sure to get as larger rootball as possible, be prepared to lose some roots so then a light trim over also helps the plant recover and it balances things up. Also if it happens to turn dry in Spring keep an eye on any established plants which you moved to give them an extra drop of water 

 

My Violas have stopped flowering?

Don’t worry they always take a break in the Winter, they also have a rest in January as well and a drop of liquid feed using Tomorite can also help pep them up and then some flowers will appear in February with lots on the way for Spring

Jobs for the weekend

TAKE HARDWOOD CUTTINGS

Dogwoods, Willows, Elderberries and many more can all be propagated this way and now is the perfect time 

 

MOVE DORMANT PLANTS THAT ARE IN THE WRONG PLACE

It’s easy to plant something and then want to move it to the left or the right or maybe somewhere totally different in the garden, now is the best time to do this before the Spring hits and the potential sunny weather along with it! 

 

CLEAR THE PLOT 

It’s the perfect time to clear weeds from vegetable plots and then dig in lots of rotted compost ready for Spring sowing and growing

 

SOWING SEEDS

Early annuals like Cornflowers, Cerinthe and Ammi can all be sown in seed trays for early flowers

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Hamamelis

A delightful group of plants and they’re now in full flower. With clusters of brightly coloured petals they make the perfect plant for the Winter garden. Their flowers also bear the most delightful zesty fragrance, they have great Autumn colour and can be kept as small shrubs or let to grow into something larger.