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Tuesday January 22 , 2019

Blue Daisy Blog

Blue Daisy blog written by Nicki Jackson & Jules Clark - for news, views, garden design, gardening and plant observations and thoughts.

November Gardens

Posted by on in Gardening

leaves-in-gardenIn early November you’ll still find some autumn coloured leaves on trees waiting to be blown off in a gust of wind. Late flowers like Chrysanthemums and Nerines and the odd Rose still provide us with a little colour and winter berries are hanging on until the birds eat them all! Later on in November the onset of winter will become more apparent with low clouds bringing rain and fog and all round dampness. It may not be that cold but winds can make it feel colder and, of course, we’ll start to see more frequent evening frosts.

Tidying up is still high on the gardening agenda this month – with leaves still falling you can gather them up to make leaf mould for next year.  Your lawn and most plants will suffer if leaves are not collected as they need all the sunlight they can get to stay healthy – if they’re not moved lying leaves will block out the light and in some cases covered plants will suffer from dieback. Also, clear away old stems and dead foliage to make everywhere look tidier; this also prevents slugs and snails settling it to a new home.

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November Garden Jobs

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secateurs-240A few jobs for this month:

  • Clear up and keep all fallen leaves for mulch
  • Get your tulip bulbs in the ground as soon as possible
  • Mow the lawn probably for the last time this year
  • Check trees and shrubs for damaged branches and remove them so they don’t get whipped off in high winds and cause damage to property or plants
  • Plant fruit trees
  • Lift and divide Rhubarb
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August Garden Advice

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RHS Wisley July 2010-400The top priority for your August garden is usually to just sit back, relax and enjoy your garden and who are we to say anything otherwise?  Go on, get out there and enjoy it before the weather changes for good!

Traditionally, this is the holiday month so if you're planning to be away remember to arrange for a neighbour/friends/family to pop round to keep an eye on plants for you. You’ll need to ask them to pick the fruit and veg that has ripened on any edible plants or it will spoil what is left still growing. 


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Top 5 Shrubs for Late Winter Early Spring

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There are so many amazing shrubs out there and I don’t think they get the recognition they deserve. I could wax lyrical about why everyone should have them in their gardens, what qualities they add to the garden and how hard some of them really do work for us. I thought I'd share with you my top 5 late winter/early spring flowering shrubs I often use when I’m designing gardens that will add visual interest and some are also scented! 

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Heatwave Proof Your Garden

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droughtresistentplantsThe heatwave really is upon us and if the forecast is anything to go by it could last for a few more weeks yet.  If we're struggling and flagging in the heat just think about how our gardens are coping!  I'm not complaining because before we know it the summer will be over and we'll be into autumn, but it's important to plan for a heatwave next year as our climate is changing whether we like it or not.  

Here's a few ideas on how to heatwave proof your garden:

  • Apply a mulch to your borders and containers in the spring, this will block out light and slow down how quickly the sun evaporates any moisture.
  • Consider the use of water retaining chrystals and add them to your containers
  • Begin buying drought tolerant plants so each year the reliance upon you to save and collect water is reduced
  • Think about harvesting as much rainwater as you can whether that is from a water butt through to the big storage tanks that are buried under the garden or even under a raised decking area. 

That's what we can do for the future but what can we do right now:

  • Move some of your containers into a shady spot especially those that are more needy like annuals, fruit or vegetables; the more sun they have the quicker any moisture in the soil will evaporate
  • Whatever you water do it in the evening, if you water during the day the sun's heat will evaporate any moisture in the area and any wet leaves will scorch when the sun hits them
  • Water slowly but thoroughly, think about watering to the depth of the plant's width and aim your watering can at the base of the plant not the foliage
  • Water containers daily
  • Water established borders every 4-5 days or a bit more often if you see them wilting
  • Water newly planted trees, shrubs and/or perennials every 3-4 days and at least half a watering can per plant
  • Established lawns can be left, even if they change colour as they are really tough and as soon as water is applied they will soon green up and will bounce back.
  • Newly laid turf will need regular watering, slowly but thoroughly.
  • Try to use greywater as much as possible - this is water that has already been used for example bath or shower water.  You can also use water saved from dish washing as long as the water isn't greasy or has lots of detergent in, this grey water can be used on established plants and lawns. 

So now that you have watered, pour yourself a glass or mug of something lovely and sit and enjoy the garden you have created so far!

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