Winter Maintenance

The gardeners and volunteers have got stuck into winter maintenance – clearing and pruning, path and border edging, deadheading, mulching, weeding, leaf collecting and composting. The last of the leaves on the trees have nearly all dropped and the leaf bins are full to the brim and busily making compost for next year. We are hoping to find time to build a cold frame for this year’s hardwood cuttings. The cuttings need to be collected now, so that we can produce extra shrubs for ourselves and to sell on to the public next year. We are also planning a new polytunnel for food growing and an orchard.  The produce will be used in the Pines Garden Tea Room or to cater for conferences or events in the Pines Calyx.

This Month’s Gardening Term – Hardwood Cutting

This technique is used for propagating mainly deciduous trees and shrubs. A stem cutting taken in autumn after leaf fall in winter or early spring before bud break. The cutting should be taken from vigorous, current season’s wood when plant growth has stopped, the tissues have ripened and the plant is dormant. The cutting is inserted in open ground so less environmental control is required.

This Month’s Floral Fact

Achillea millefolium (Yarrow, Milfoil), one of our native wild flowers, is also known as the ‘Plant Doctor’, planted near unhealthy plants they can help with treatment. Their young leaves are edible, its a remedy for fevers, a compost accelerator and medieval herbalists once used it for treating wounds.