GARDENING: Enjoying a walk on the not-so wild side

A walk around the garden every day in life is high on my list of must-do’s because it leads to enlightenment.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 25th November 2020, 11:58 am
Fragrant `Chandos Beauty` still blooming.
Fragrant `Chandos Beauty` still blooming.

Apart from the exercise there’s always a possibility of discovering a recently introduced plant flowering for the first time, spring bulbs starting to emerge, self-sown seedlings, a hedgehog foraging. Each day has something new to offer.

When the first outdoor vegetable sowings are made in springtime, we are full of anticipation, to such an extent that I’m out every morning checking the site, ostensibly to see if any animals have disturbed the bed, but there’s always a faint hope that signs of germination will emerge before the customary seven to 14 days.

Similarly, when the first early potatoes are planted in mid-March there’s a daily watch of necessity in case tender emerging shoots are nipped by overnight frost.

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Summer garden walks are not to be missed especially if there are highly fragrant roses and shrubs to slow your progress.

Early morning and late evening are especially enjoyable when mock orange, lilac and roses combine on the moist air. If you aren’t enjoying such treats, now is a good time to buy and plant for next year.

A complete overview of what’s happening in the garden is so important because there are certain areas to avoid if possible.

One is bird-nesting sites which can be the hedges, shrubs, climbing ivy and drystone walls.

The other consideration is wasp nests that appear as a large ball in a hedge or shrub, even a hole in the ground. The former should not be disturbed, the latter best avoided!

Daily tours of our winter garden might be bracing and short-lived but they’re just as important. Mine starts in the vegetable beds where the hardy brassicas are beginning to deliver greens. Cultivating them is a long but worthwhile process.

The sprouts and broccoli were sown months ago and several pests have tried to get to get to them.

Cabbage white butterflies were seen off with netting and woodpigeons remain a threat.

Slugs are ever-present, so, I start all the greens under-cover in pots and plant them out with a strong root system and substantial growth