Chat,  Gardening

January 2020 Garden

This was supposed to be part of my overall January post but as you can see it got quite long. The mild winter (so far) has meant that there are plants budding all over the garden. There is a standard rose about to flower in my front garden!

It is early and I know I’m impatient but the honeysuckle is sending out shoots on what are already leggy lengths so I’ve cut it back to about 45cm (18 inches) Fingers crossed we’ll get some good strong growth now.

The clematis is still at the looking dead stage and unfortunately I don’t know what Type it is. BBC Gardener’s World Magazine describes them as follows:

  • Group 1 clematis
    • These early-flowering clematis burst into bloom in winter and spring on the previous year’s growth. This group doesn’t need pruning, but you can remove old or damaged stems after they have finished flowering, if needs be.
  • Group 2 clematis
    • These large-flowered hybrids produce show-stopping blooms in spring and summer on the previous year’s growth. Without pruning in February, you’ll likely have a poor display and a top-heavy plant. Trim away weak or damaged growth, and cut other stems to just above the strongest, highest buds. Prune again after the first flush of flowers to a pair of buds halfway down the stems, and they will flower again in late-summer.
  • Group 3 clematis
    • This late-flowering group produces flowers on the current season’s growth, which makes pruning all the more important. To ensure a robust display of flowers in summer and autumn, cut it down to a couple of feet from the ground every February or March. Left to their own devices, plants will become tangled and unproductive.

It’s not Type 1 as there’s no sign of blooms coming, my gut feeling is it’s Type 3 especially with that last phrase. 

So what I’ve done is cut half of it back. If it’s Type 3 that part will do well and if it’s Type 2 the other half should do. Well that’s the plan anyway. 

I think the garden, especially the left hand border, already looks in a better starting position this year than it did when we moved in.

That faint yellow half way down the picture is the winter flowering jasmine. It’s done remarkably well after my pruning last year. Next year it will look brilliant.

I was relieved to see signs of growth on the rhubarb root I had moved to near the back gate as it was not the best time of year to do so and it ended up being half the original piece.

The plan is to move the rest (about 3 other roots) over the next couple of years so that I can expand the line of raspberry canes. Staggering the moves means there won’t be much of a loss in production each year. 

We’ve also been buying a few bits ready for the year ahead:

The biggest purchases are the large and medium “plastic” greenhouses from Argos. As the property is rented we don’t want to be investing in permanent structures but we still want to make the most of the space available. 

These aren’t as solid as a “proper” greenhouse but we can take them down in the autumn to extend their lifespan. The other advantage is we can move them easily if they need a better location. 

The larger one will sit on the veg patch and is mainly for tomatos. i have grown them outside in pots before but you don’t get the same amount of growth or fruit as you do under cover. 

The second will sit near the house and is for starting off seedlings and growing salad. Each shelf will have a tray and these will be planted at week apart giving us a regular supply. 

  • Seed potatoes, more than we need but getting potatoes in fills the bed this year and gives more time to plan for next
    • 1st early Arran Pilot, 
    • 2nd early Charlotte and 
    • Maincrop Maris Piper
  • Onions, as with the potatoes more than we need if they all grow but a good space filler
    • Centurion F1
    • Red Baron

I also picked up a couple of shrubs in the sad section, a buddleja for £1.50 and a Hamamelis mollis “Pallida” (witch hazel) for £3! The first will fill a gap in the hedge at the bottom of the wildlife area and the second will go in a pot in the front.