New Years Resolutions

After a hectic year, with time and energy going into other projects, many of the tasks that I would have liked to have completedborder mulched with homemade compost in the garden are still left undone. I am hoping to spend much more time in the garden in 2016 and this has to be my first gardening New Year’s Resolution.

The second is to sort out all of my pots that are used to grow spring and summer bulbs. For several years now, we have had beautiful white Lilies that flower at midsummer and fill the garden with scent. This year they had lost their vigour despite having been re-potted the previous spring, and we had far fewer of the deliciously scented blooms than usual. I have made the decision to ditch what is left and start again with fresh corms which will be available from Notcutts in early spring.

The garden shed is almost always a mess. I tidy it out and then bags of rubbish, kindling wood for the fire and other bits and pieces get thrown in there after a busy day; before I know it we are back to tidying it out again! This year I would like to invest in a small garden shredder so that more of the garden waste can be composted instead of bagging it up and taking it to the local green skip. The compost heaps are a great success and we get plenty of mulch for the borders but could always do with more so it makes sense to shred coarser material and eventually add it back to the soil.

Most of our unruly Privet hedge is now under control having been reduced to stumps a couple of years ago. It grew back the following spring and now it’s much easier to keep tidy with a quick swish over with the hedge trimmer every few weeks through the summer. The plants growing in the borders beneath it are much happier as well with extra light to make them grow up straight and encourage more flowers! There is one more section above the garden shed that still needs to be cut back and this is a definite job for the winter before the birds set up home in the spring and before I need the cut twigs as pea sticks.

The paving outside the kitchen door and the granite sets need to be re-pointed because the weather has left its mark. Wet winters and frosts mean that patches have crumbled and although I quite like the weathered look, some plants such as Buddleja take the opportunity to seed into the gaps which is all extra work to keep it weed free.

Whilst on the subject of weeds, the front garden is much clearer of the annual Quaking Grass (Briza media) not a weed as such but a voracious seeder which I will never add to the compost heap for fear of spreading it to the so far unpopulated back garden. This beautiful plant is charming when in flower and loved by flower arrangers, but each segment of the locket-like seed heads falls to the ground and will make a carpet of fresh green offspring very quickly. If they are not whipped out at the earliest opportunity, the process continues and the front garden will become a lawn rather than a border.

It’s good to know that one of last year’s gardening resolutions, to cut down on the spread of this unwanted plant has been kept to – let’s see how many I can keep through 2016

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