Make activity plans around the weather

A dry-stone wall is earmarked for repair when frost arrives. Picture by Tom Pattinson.
A dry-stone wall is earmarked for repair when frost arrives. Picture by Tom Pattinson.

There are a few deciduous shrubs to dig up and relocate in the days ahead, then we can concentrate on the mixed borders and over-vigorous herbaceous perennials.

We plant these in groups of three to make a bold statement of colour, but after a few seasons of expanding growth, a variety may start to encroach on others and become woody at the centre.

It’s time to dig up and divide, saving the more vigorous outer parts for replanting.

Given the nature of deep-midwinter weather, spells of wet and cold followed by moderate conditions, it’s good to have an activity plan.

When Jack Frost visits this garden, planting and border work will give way to re-building a dry-stone retaining wall and greenhouse activities.

A regular supply of stable manure ensures we’re rarely short of organic matter for mulching and new plantings, but the Hotbin composting unit is always on standby.

On opening the lid last week, it revealed a rich, dark brown compost. It cut into slices like Black Forest Gateau and the plants love it.