May was a long month and June looks to be too with me on 6 day weeks and only days of on a Monday. This has unfortunately scuppered our plans of doing anything together as I’m of on the Mondays and my beloved is off at the weekends. The month of May was unbelievable dry and temperatures often rose about 20c making some days very pleasant and others very sticky having to don clothes and go to work. Work in the garden has cracked on a pace and finally it’s nice to be able to see some results.
I’m most pleased to see our Asiatic Lilies come out but the hanging baskets look ok as does many other plants we have scattered around the garden. The latest additions include a hanging basket out the front and some other plants in the back garden. These include Penstemon Apple Blossom, Euonymus Emerald Gaiety, Garden Lily Apricot Salmon and a Acer Palmatum. I have to admit that in life I do like to get carried away buying lots of it’s Cheap but at least it keeps my mind stimulated and takes my mind of work.
It’s satisfying to make the garden tidy and even more rewarding to see all the bulbs we plant appear and then flower,some of the colours are glorious. I’ve been meaning to get the camera out again and go out but with little spare time and the garden to do it’s had to be given a miss. All in all it’s been rewarding and thanks to the supermarkets own brand tools and feeds thankfully it’s turned out quite cheap too. Even though we’re now in summer time my thoughts must turn to the winter and how we will have to store our plants keeping them away from the frost.
Preventing Winter Damage
Cold, wet, windy winter weather can damage trees, shrubs and garden structures such as trellis. Improving shelter, staking plants, mulching, wrapping pots and careful matching of plants to places will help to prevent this kind of damage.
Feeding: Avoid applications of nitrogen-rich fertilisers late in the season, as they stimulate sappy growth
Soil cover: Soil exposure, particularly in the vegetable patch, can result in leaching of nutrients. Green manure, such as mustard, sown in September reduces this leaching. Juvenile plants will retain nutrients until dug back into the soil in spring
Mulching: This can reduce compaction and soil erosion that can commonly follow heavy rain
Overwinter plants by wrapping: Plants can be protected from cold, wet weather by wrapping with horticultural fleece. For more on overwintering plants, see the links below
Plant in a sheltered spot: Your garden is a microclimate in itself. You will have warm spots, at the base of a south-facing wall, and cold or wet spots on the north side of the house. Choose plants carefully for each of these positions. Site early-flowering plants such as magnolias and camellias so that they are not exposed to the morning sun, as rapid thawing of frozen buds can result in blackening and bud drop
Containers: Keep containers in dry, sheltered areas, grouped together for mutual protection. Prevent roots freezing in containers by wrapping with bubble polythene or straw. Alternatively plunge (bury with the rim just showing) the pot into the ground
Structures: Before the start of winter, check all garden structures and replace or re-attach loose panels, roofs, posts and fences. Replace solid fences with ones that are 50 percent wind permeable to avoid gusting, turbulence and shaking
Plant windbreaks: A cold and windy site will often require windbreaks of additional planting such as hedges. Strategic placing of temporary woven hurdles, netting or similar materials on deeply embedded stout posts can help in the short-term
Drainage: Deal with drainage problems promptly, as wet soils can make young or shallow rooted trees more likely to uproot in the wind
At the moment I’m toying with making a cold frame as I have the glass so I’d just need the wood.
A cold frame is a bottomless box with a skyward-facing window. Like a miniature greenhouse, a cold frame lengthens the gardening season by protecting plants and seeds from the moderately cold temperatures and drying winds of late fall and early spring. With the addition of a simple heater, a cold frame can be used nearly year-round to grow cool-season flowers and vegetables, and to give summer plants an early start.
The low-cost, easy-to-build cold frame presented here takes one or two weekends to build and uses widely available materials. You can place it on a deck or patio to grow plants in pots, or you can place it over a garden bed.