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  1. Jobs to do in the garden this January

    Jobs to do in the garden this January

    Jobs to do in the garden this January

    1) Now is a really good time to tidy up the hellebores. Remove old leaves and make way for the
    Flowers, which will be with us shortly. Plant winter aconites to improve the early spring show.

    2) Be sure and remove dead leaves which have built up in the pond to prevent stagnation.

    3) Service the lawnmower, spring will be with us before we realise it! If grass needs cutting,
    remove it as it is too cold for it to decompose.

    4) Make sure the water has been turned off to all outside taps.

    5) Plant new fruit trees and bushes as conditions allow, applying a mulch of well-rotted material,
    but leave a 10cm gap between the stem and the mulch to prevent potential stem rot.

    6) Where Cyclamen coum has spread naturally from seed, select the best seedlings with good
    leaf markings and replant into new areas which will benefit from the winter colour. Did you
    know that ants carry the seed off to new locations?

    7) Plant some lilies in deep pots and keep in the greenhouse ready for transfer to the flower
    border when the flowers develop.

    8) Placing a couple of forks of well-rotted manure on top of rhubarb crowns will encourage
    them to make early growth. And, if covered with an upturned dustbin or similar, you will get
    the beautiful red leaf stalks and yellow leaves we see in the shops in early spring.

    9) Have a walk around the garden merely to see what additional colour you would like at this time of year and purchase new and attractive shrubs such as Hamamelis (Witch Hazel), snowdrops,
    Cornus and decorative stemmed willows. Do you have enough interesting conifers in a range of sizes and colours?

    10) If you have a grape vine under glass, now is the time to prune it, before the sap starts to rise.
    Don’t leave it until next month as the wounds tend to bleed.

    11) If you enjoy making an early start to the growing year, cover some areas with polythene or
    cloches to protect the soil from the hardest frost and the heavy spring rains. This can improve
    the soil temperature by up to six degrees when it is time for you to plant or sow.

    12) Brush snow off conifers and heathers if there is a heavy fall, in order to prevent branches being
    broken.

    13) On a cold day when you are trying to keep warm, turn you compost heap sides to middle and
    top to bottom, and this will ensure a good friable compost in late spring, ideal for potting on
    plants of all kinds.

    14) In rock gardens and raised beds, ensure that fallen leaves have been removed in order to
    prevent botrytis.

    15) Sit in front of a warm fire when there is a gale outside together with a blizzard, and go through
    all the new seed catalogues for this coming spring and draw up a sowing/planting programme!
    We hope you enjoyed our jobs for January, have you read our latest blog piece on “Hedging for 365 days of the year”?

    Posted 1st Jan 5:01pm
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  2. Hedging for 365 days of the year

    Hedging for 365 days of the year

    Wanting a hedge 365 days of the year? An evergreen hedge provides structure and privacy throughout the year, here’s 6 of the best.

    Hedging for 365 days of the year

    1. Prunus Rotundifolia – a vigorous, dense evergreen shrub suitable for almost all locations. Large, glossy green leaves make this a go-to plant above other Prunus varieties. Growing up to 60cm a year, trim in spring and autumn to keep a good shape.

    2. Taxus Baccata – a dark green evergreen hedging plant great for shade and happy to be pruned. It is not the fastest growing evergreen variety but will grow 30-40cm per year.

    3. Cupressus Leylandii – is one of the fastest evergreen hedging varieties that can grow up to 3ft per year with its eventual height reaching up to 12m. Great as a windbreak, general barrier and for noise reduction. Available in various different pot sizes and heights.

    4. Buxus Sempervirens – offer a low slow growing evergreen hedging plant that will be easy to keep clipped, making it the perfect edge to a pathway, formal hedge or as a topiary shape. It is happy in full sun – full shade and can grow up to 10cm per year.

    5. Prunus Lusitanica -also known as Portuguese laurel, boast luscious dark green glossy leaves on deep maroon stems with small, fragrant white flowers in the summer and red berries in the autumn which are very popular with birds.

    6. Griselinia Littoralis – are known for their glossy, apple green foliage and make a fantastic dense hedge that offers screening and year-round interest. Griselinia is perfect for a formal hedge as it can be clipped neatly. It is perfect in a full sun position.

    Needing hedging for shade? full sun? and an exposed site? check out our other hedging blogs –

    Shade hedging plants
    Hedging plants for full sun
    Hedging for an exposed site

     

    Posted 9th Jan 4:55pm
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  3. Johnsons - Planting Trees for Bees

    Johnsons - Planting Trees for Bees

    Johnsons – Planting Trees for Bees

    When we think of plants for bees we naturally think of Lavender, Echinacea and other predominantly flowering species.

    Rarely, however, do we think of trees as a major source of pollen for bees.

    A tree is larger in size and therefore has lots more flower head area which, in-turn, provides a plentiful food source in one place.

    Trees provide a source of food in early spring and autumn when a lot of other species have stopped flowering.

    In recognition of this we are committed to planting a range of bigger trees which will help provide a wider source of food over a longer period of time. Species include:

    Heptacodium miconoides, which will provide a rich pollen source in autumn.

    For spring, we will plant Prunus cerasifera (Plum Cherry), Prunus spinosa (Blackthorn) ,Malus sylvestris (Wild Crab), Sorbus aucuparia (Rowan) and Tilia europaea (European lime) which will ensure a rich summer feast.

    As an aperitif we will be sowing a rich mix of wild flower seed in the immediate vicinity.

    We are delighted with our ‘Apiary’ success to date and hope that this extra TLC will pay dividends in terms of the extent and health of our already successful honey bee community.

    Want to create a bee friendly garden ? check out our guide ‘Creating a bee friendly garden”Creating a bee friendly garden”

    Posted 8th Jan 3:45pm
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