Watch this page for more info. in 2019
Watch this page for more info. in 2019
HERE ARE SOME LIMERICKS SENT TO ME ABOUT GARDENING!
A Bosbury gardener called Fred
Spends most of the time in his shed
He potters about
And only comes out
To enter his greenhouse instead.
A Ledbury man on his plot
Said, “Look at the onions I’ve got
There’s garlic and leeks
Bin growing for weeks,
And down at the end, that shallot.
Tho’ useless, a gardener called Elsie
Still yearned to exhibit at Chelsea
And as she was bold
They awarded her “gold”,
Which shows that you never can tell, see.
Keep up the good work,
Down at Caves Folly Nursery in Colwall, Bridget is busy getting ready for Spring.
We’ve had a few months of very mild weather and so the bulbs are emerging waiting for their chance to spring into action. February is a month for getting ready for what’s to come, cleaning those tools and giving them a once-over. Its a month to prepare the glasshouse for all the new seeds and cuttings.
Broad Beans, Peas, Spring onions and Parsley can also be sown early with some protection. If you are planting seed potatoes chit them and put them in a light, cool but frost free place. Later on in March almost anything can be sown inside so use those cold winter days to plan and buy your seeds.
In the vegetable garden there is still time to plant bareroot fruit trees and bushes. Prune summer raspberries back to the top of their supports and cut autumn raspberries back to ground level. Add compost or well rotted manure to seed sowing areas.
If you have a glasshouse, coldframe or kitchen window sill, there are lots of seedlings you can start off ready for planting out in April. Early salad leaves such as lettuce, Marvel of Four Seasons is a good hardy variety or try oriental greens such as Mizuna and Mustards.
In the ornamental garden, plant Lilies and Allium bulbs. Cut deciduous hedges if necessary before the birds start nesting. Prune winter flowering shrubs such as
Viburnum Bodnantense and Mahonia. Shrubs grown for their winter stem colours such as Cornus and Salix cultivars should now be cut down to their bases. Cut back deciduous ornamental grasses.
Annuals can be sown in the greenhouse. Plants such as Sweet peas, Cosmos, Agastache, Alyssum, Lobelia, Antirrhinum, Calendula and Dianthus can all be sown early in modules to minimise root disturbance and encourage earlier flowering.
With the growing season upon us it is an exciting time watching everything bursting into life.
Now all we have to do is keep up with it!
Enjoy your February and March, and remember Spring is just around the corner!
March, April and May are fabulous months to be in the garden.
The sheer exhuberance of plant growth is a joy to behold, you can even smell plants growing!
All the plant deliveries are now going out and my plants will be growing in gardens all over the country!
I was recently reminded by the manager at Hidcote Gardens that Caves Folly had been supplying plants to National Trust properties for over twenty years.
The national Trust made the announcement that it was not going to use peat on the first day of the Chelsea flower show in May 2001.
Having made this decission they suddenly realised that there were only a handful of wholesale nurseries that grow plants in Peat Free Compost.
This was good for our plant sales ,as we had been growing in Peat Free, Organic compost for ten years previously!
We were ahead of our time environmentally but lost lots of time and money experimenting with peat free alternatives before we arrived at our present compost.
Many of my customers still ask why it matters if they use a peat based compost,so here is some useful informatoin ;
What does peat do for the environment?
Peat locks carbon and prevents it from entering the atmosphere, where it forms CO2, the main greenhouse gas UK peatlands store approximately 3 billion tonnes of carbon. If this was lost as CO2 to the atmosphere, it would be equivalent to over 20 years of UK industrial emissions*.
There’s around 100kg of carbon per cubic metre of peat, equivalent to the emissions from one car driving 2,000 miles.
Why shouldn’t we dig it up?
Peat develops very slowly, so it may take hundreds of years to replace each metre that is extracted for use in private gardens.
-at present, the peat dug up in Britain for gardens releases almost 0.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
How much peat does the UK use?
Amateur gardeners account for almost 69 per cent of all peat used in the UK, mainly in multi-purpose compost and grow bags.
What you can do
These are a few facts to remember when you fill your containers with peat compost only to throw it on the compost heap a few months later!
Even if you have a small garden you can easily make your own free compost for potting and containers. Look at the RHS web site under composting for more information.
By Bridget at Caves Folly Nurseries
As the autumn leaves turn golden, Bridget at Caves Folly Nursery in Colwall is appreciating the importance of our trees.
Autumn is in full swing, the trees are changing colour and nature is storing up its resources for the winter ahead.Herefordshire has so many beautiful woodlands full of native trees that we are spoiled for choice. Planting trees always gives me great pleasure. I feel as though I am leaving a legacy to future generations to enjoy as well as providing a habitat for a multitude of creatures.
About fifteen years ago I was asked to plant a parkland for a large house. This was an amazing opportunity to shape a huge landscape (I felt like Capability Bridget!) with Lime avenues, Mulberry trees, Oaks, Birch, Maples, Chestnut and Beech to mention only a few. After several years I drove past the area and realised the magnitude of the landscape I had created!
We can all do this on a smaller scale by planting a native hedge instead of putting up panel fencing, by planting fruit trees, small ornamental trees and by creating habitats that not only enhance our garden but link it up with the wider landscape. Planting trees and hedges can help connect wildlife habitats from gardens to the surrounding countryside by creating wildlife corridors for migrating species.
If you do not have a garden you can help plant trees by volunteering with local wildlife, woodland and conservation groups. There are also free and reduced-cost tree saplings being given out by the Woodland Trust as part of its ‘Woodland Creation’ manifesto, while the Royal Horticultural Society are organising a dig together day in November to encourage community tree planting.
Garden Jobs for Autumn
Plant Perennials, bulbs and winter bedding. The soil is perfect for planting at this time of year with plant roots enjoying the moist warm soil.
Begin clearing spent plants, dead or dying leaves, and have a general tidy in the garden to prevent pest and diseases overwintering. Leave seed heads for the birds. Lift and harvest main crop potatoes. Plant sets of onions. Plant trees,hedging and shrubs. If your soil is heavy, dig it over to allow time for weathering over winter to break it down and improve its structure.
This wonderful poem by John Keats says it all!
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
Bridget’s back from a holiday that’s inspired her to grow more alpines.
Last summer I travelled with a friend by train from Colwall to a small village high up in the Swiss Alps called Wengen. The main object of the trip was to fulfil my dream of seeing Alpine meadow flowers in their natural habitat. We started off from St. Pancras station in London at 5.30am on a Eurostar train to Paris. After that we travelled on a TGV high-speed train through France to Basel on the Swiss/French Border. From Basel we travelled to Bern and by now we could see the high mountains in the distance. Continue reading