Your Garden in June
“What a severe yet master artist old Winter is.... No longer the canvas and the pigments,
but the marble and the chisel.” - John Burroughs
Winter has arrived as a cold wind blows the fallen leaves around your garden. Some trees are still losing leaves while others are already dormant. The fallen leaves are an excellent mulch. Certain plants have completely disappeared underground and will only resurface in the spring. Even though your garden might look like everything has come to a standstill, you must still water your plants at least once a week. They still require moisture to survive especially through colder periods.
With the lack of moisture in the soil they get damaged far easier when there are cold spells or frost and they take longer to recover. It is important to water your garden early morning so that all the water droplets dry up before the temperature drops after sunset.
What is important to remember is that if any plants are damaged by cold frosty weather, you should leave the damaged or dead leaves alone and not cut them off until the weather warms at the end of winter or in early spring. Removing the leaves too early can cause more damage to the plant. It creates open wounds on the plants which make them more vulnerable to cold, disease and stress. Also refrain from pruning your trees and roses at this time. We will touch on this topic in July.
Winter is a good season for maintenance. Check the lawnmower for perhaps damaged baldes for excessive summer use! Replace damaged blades now and give you lawnmower a good cleaning and oiling before putting it away until Spring. Also clean and oil your cutting equipment - the secateurs and loppers. By doing these tasks now you will prolong the use of expensive garden equipment.
Calendula officinalis is an annual that would liven up your garden with its bright orange flowers in winter. Calendulas are also used in culinary dishes, cosmetics and for medicinal purposes. They can be used to treat various ailments from stomach cramps to ulcers. Calendula are frost hardy plants growing to a height of about 40cm and diameter of about 30cm. Plant Calendula’s in a full sun position in well composted beds. They also need good drainage and have medium water requirements. Nip off dead flowers to encourage further flowering.
A plant that needs cold weather to produce fruit is your cherry tree. Many people plant them and they do not bear fruit. Usually the reason for them not bearing fruit is because the winter is too mild. If you live in a cold frosty area then plant yourself a cherry tree. When planting the tree, dig the hole twice the size in depth and width as the planting bag that the cherry tree is in. Add plenty of compost and bone meal to the hole.
Plant the tree at the same depth as it is in the planting bag. Make sure you do not plant the tree in an area that gets watered logged from bad drainage or water runoff. Feed the tree with a 3:1:5 fertiliser such as Vita Fruit and Flower from Talborne Organics, which will help with the development of the fruit and flower due to the high Potassium.
One of the most loved winter annuals is Poppies with their bright crinkled large blooms on tall wiry stems. They make ideal cut flowers and the more you cut them - the more flowers they produce. Various varieties are available, from your brights to your pastels and what better way to describe a non stop flowering variety than "Champagne Bubbles"! Poppies love full sun, at least every second day watering and they can be heavy feeders. Massed platings are the most effective way to show off these colourful annuals. To use in bouquets - cut just when the buds starts to open an sear stem ends immediately to conserve moisture.
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in,
me an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus