Like so many other gardeners I lost plants during the last winter and spent most of 2011 grieving for them. They’ve been replaced with various hardier specimens and have enjoyed a very long growing season building up their strength for this winter. My shrub Fuchsia ‘Ricartonii’ still has leaves and flowers which shows how mild it is.
I’m looking forward to 2012, knowing that it won’t be long before the spring bulbs will be poking through the ground. I shall enjoy looking for mine because I hardly ever mark the spot where they’re planted, adding to my enjoyment of identifying them. There will be another opportunity very soon to plant bulbs; these will be growing in pots ready to plant out. Why not watch out for them!
There are still lots of things that can be done especially during milder spells. It’s a good time to plan what you want to grow for next year and prepare the ground ready for planting. If you intend growing your own from seeds there are lots to choose from and the seed packets will describe when and where to sow, which will help you to plan your beds, borders or containers. Growing from seed can be much more rewarding than just saving money.
If you planted autumn/winter plants, hardy pinks or heathers check them over occasionally and firm them in if they’ve been lifted by frost. Heathers can still be planted during suitable weather, but don’t forget that Callunas need acid soil and Ericas will thrive in most soils.
Occasionally inspect any fruit that you’re storing, removing any that are turning bad. Apple and pear trees can still be pruned, dispose of your prunings, making sure that you don’t leave any shrivelled-up fruit on the tree or ground. This may lead to problems next year. Plums and other stoned fruit shouldn’t be pruned in winter.
Happy new year everyone!