What NOT to do in your garden this week, in the snow.

by AnneWareham on March 27, 2013

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Mow the lawn ( yes…)

Mow your lawn now and you’ll enjoy a greener, denser and harder-wearing patch throughout the summer. Whether you want a bowling-green lawn or just a bit of grass for the kids to play on, regular mowing will improve the appearance of your lawn and help keep it looking its best.

Takes just 30 minutes

Or just a little longer if you have to remove all the snow in order to do it…

Trim photinia

Cut back one in three branches of photinia to just above a leaf, to encourage new red shoots. Choose an ‘outward-facing’ leaf, as you would a rose.

What Photinia?? You got any? I haven’t got any…No- sorry: I have! Forgot – it must be 30 feet tall. Prune it??? You what???

Spring prep

Thoroughly weed and spring clean borders, loosening any compacted soil. Then apply a general fertiliser around each herbaceous clump and mulch

Well, I don’t know about you (or the snow) but I have four acres full of beds and borders (don’t ask me what the difference is..) and I’d have to take out a mortgage to scatter general fertiliser round all that lot. Never have, never will, it all does ok..

Give a potash feed to winter pansies and early-birds such as wallflowers, and perennials such as ‘Bowles’s Mauve’.

More feeding with feed I can’t afford and heartily dislike  of plants I don’t possess.

Shear violets

Straggly shoots of perennial violas should be trimmed back, leaving just a central boss of new shoots. Choose “outward-facing” leaves in each case.

And err.. what violas?? They well hidden, they are, in the big freeze..(do people really have time for all this fiddling about, anyway??)

Watch for the arrival of plug plants ordered by post, and pot them up on arrival. If you don’t have time, unpack them straight away, soak them if they seem dry, and space them out on a windowsill.

Well I didn’t – did you? Love the idea of doing an Eleanor Rigby and sitting there watching out the window for the plug plants arriving…(and do you have windowsill space sitting there waiting for them??!!)

Plant chitted (pre-sprouted) tubers of early potatoes in well-prepared soil in a sheltered part of the veg patch and protect them with fleece.

Not those chitted potatoes again! Gives you something to do with those that are sprouting away and going wrinkly in the kitchen though..

Plant canna lilies in pots


Plant out onion sets in rows

So the sparrows can pull them out. If they don’t you may find that little onions become a bit bigger, sitting there in the soil. Life is so amazingly exciting, isn’t it?

Put slug barrier products around the tender new shoots

This is called the Slug Olympics! See them skim the gravel! Rush the copper wire! (no idea what other slug barrier products there may be…)

Sow peas in lengths of guttering under cover

I have loads of spare guttering lying round the house, don’t we all? Keep it under the sofa…

Visit garden centres to buy young bedding plants

I don’t like bedding plants! And where they going to go? Not in my bed!

Sow strawberry seeds, including alpine varieties

Heard of strawberry runners??? And why do I have to sow alpine varieties – they grow as weeds in the garden as it is..

Sigh…… XXXX  Anne

Hellebore, Veddw copyright Anne Wareham

Shivering Hellebore, Veddw

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jacqui March 27, 2013 at 7:38 pm

fabulous!! thank you very much..love it XXX

Sue Beesley March 27, 2013 at 10:36 pm

So, what’s Jeff been up to in the garden at Veddw lately? Let me guess – he turns up, builds a snowman, doodles patterns in the ice on the shed windows, gazes skywards for flocks of waxwings and then goes home? Lucky bloke…

AnneWareham March 27, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Digging new soakaway for cess pit and a drainage channel.

Michael B. Gordon March 27, 2013 at 11:34 pm

It sounds more like New Hampshire than the UK. There is a long list of things we can’t do here, sorry to hear that you are having a similar problem!!

AnneWareham March 27, 2013 at 11:44 pm

Like mid winter, isn’t it?!! “Earth stood hard as iron…”

Elizabeth Buckley March 28, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Tears of laughter running down my face! Thank you yet again Anne for the antidote to the ‘gardening guilt trip’ that these so called ‘experts’ trot out.

I had an email from a friend this week who said she’d frozen her hands off hacking back her Hellebores because ‘Monty Don said so’! My Hellebores are blissfully unhacked & my hands are warm!

And why in heaven’s name would ANYONE want to sow strawberry seeds when it’s so much easier & quicker to buy plants or use runners?! These people must have the patience of a saint and far too much time on their hands!

My biggest concern at the moment is wind damage. The ENDLESS easterly gales have really desiccated my shrubs – guess I should have wrapped them in fleece – didn’t… oh well they’ll recover I reckon.

AnneWareham March 28, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Thanks, Libby. Your shrubs may put on new growth, may need to go (ouch…) or may provide a beautiful support for a vigorous climber… Or all three. In random order..

That’s life, that’s gardening. We may as well enjoy what we can of it? XXXX

Elizabeth Buckley March 29, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Unfortunately said shrubs are way too unestablished/small to support a vigorous climber! My garden is still very young.

And I also have to shamefully admit to having turned to ‘The Dark Side’! I spent my afternoon tidying, clearing, pruning & fertilizing my beds. It was just so fantastic to have a day that permitted me to be outside without freezing my a** off. The sun even came out a few times! And it was the perfect day contextually to contemplate the miracle of new life from that which appears to be dead. L xx

AnneWareham March 29, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Traitor! If the shrubs are small (I know – I remember!) you may have to replace them…. (serves you right, gardener..) XXXX

rosa complicata March 28, 2013 at 9:23 pm

I’m still laughing! … the slug Olimpics!!!! absolutely delightful.

AnneWareham March 28, 2013 at 9:47 pm

XX xxx

Richard March 30, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Slug Olympics made me laugh – they are in a handicap race in my garden ahead of the blasted rabbits.

As for spare guttering – it is a while since we hoovered under the sofa – so thanks for the top tip – we’ll have a look later. Last time we lifted it up – we discovered Royrama..

AnneWareham March 30, 2013 at 1:06 pm

O, those rabbits….
Who or what is Royrama???