Green Fingers in Winter
Down at Caves Folly Nursery in Colwall,
Bridget is reflecting on 2020
What will you remember most about 2020? For some there will be a list of bad things but for me there have been some positive memories to look back on as well.
At the beginning of March when the skies cleared of planes and the roads became quieter, nature experienced a special reprieve. In those few months as the world stopped, the climate and the natural world benefitted as our carbon footprint was reduced.
This was not endless environmentalists telling us how to live our lives, but the stark reality evident in our day to day lives. It can actually be done! I hope that we don’t forget the power we have to heal our planet. Through a few small changes in our lifestyles we can help nature and create a better future for our children and grandchildren.
That’s my last ‘environmental rant’ for 2020 and now it’s back to earth with a few jobs in the garden. The winter months have a beauty of their own, most of the garden might be sleeping but there is a beauty in the tranquillity of resting trees and shrubs with the silhouettes of stems and trunks contrasting against the winter skies.
Spring bulbs, hellebores, winter jasmine, winter honeysuckle and heathers all provide an important source of winter nectar for insects.
Leave piles of leaves and messy corners of the garden for hibernating creatures. Prune Apple trees and grape vines. Deciduous hedges such as Beech and Hornbeam can be renovated over the next couple of months. Check climbing plants are secured to supports to reduce damage from strong winds. Bare root trees and hedging can be planted anytime through until the beginning of March.
Tidy up brassicas by removing yellow leaves that may harbour pests and diseases. Stake tall Brussels sprouts stems to provide support in strong winds.
Plant any bareroot fruit bushes or trees from now until beginning of March.
Clear any remaining weeds and leave the soil to break down with the frosts.
Put out a varied selection of food for birds. Always provide unfrozen water.
Place a floating ball on your pond to reduce the chance of the whole surface freezing over. This helps oxygen dissolve into the water which is vital for amphibians and fish.
Bring the outdoors inside and fill the house full of evergreens this Christmas.
Place bowls with indoor plants around the house as well. Ask for advice at your garden centre and get the right plant for your house.
That leaves just one more thing to say - Happy Christmas and a floriferous New Year!
Bridget runs Caves Folly Nurseries on Evendine Lane in Colwall (WR13 6DX). They are open from March until October, Thursdays to Saturdays from 10 - 5. You can contact them on 01684 540631 or visit their website: