Friday 28th February 2020

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A beautiful flowery wreath to welcome N.G.S. visitors to Garden House at 12.30.  What could be nicer?  Soup, home made bread, tea and cakes?  Oh, they’re available too….

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We talked about how to get your garden “eco-fit”. Having a compost heap is key: making compost results in waste material being recycled and the soil being improved. Community compost can be used – it’s very effective as a mulch.  Well-rotted horse manure also gets the thumbs up.  Best to keep weeds out of the compost bin to avoid grief later

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To outwit pests and diseases, bring in: bees, insects, ladybirds, birds, worms, frogs, hedgehogs, moths and butterflies by growing the plants and flowers they long for.  Use physical barriers to deter pests, like traps, cloches, fleeces, grit.  No pesticides please, and flame throwers are right out.  A reasonable level of tidiness and hygiene is A Good Thing (definitely in the garden, and preferably in the gardener as well). If you are inundated with snails, encourage more predators, or, alternatively, grow garlic and parsley, buy wine and butter, and eat the blighters.

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Keep checking your plants.  Let ‘vigilance’ be your watchword.  Go ‘peat-free’ and spread the word to save the planet. Peat is a non-renewable resource, it locks carbon in and acts as a sponge to soak up heavy rains. Madness to dig it up.  In the garden be bio-diverse.  Recycle water and materials (see mosaic stepping stone below), collect seeds, divide your plants, dig a pond, make a bug hotel, maybe a wormery? Put up bird boxes, be curious, propagate your plants.  Make leaf mould. The road less travelled may be organic, but it’s definitely the way to go.

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Full of renewed ecological fervour and good intentions, we donned wetsuits, flippers and snorkels and headed out into the garden.  (Still raining.)  This is what we did:

Jobs for the week:

Work on Little Dixter

Plant up containers with plants to provide the ultimate Visitor Experience.

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Plant up wire baskets with succulents

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Divide Asters to increase stock

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She’s using a calculator to check how good he is at division

Make a spring wreath to hang at the entrance gate

Next week, these two could be running a wreath-making workshop…

Seed sowing

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Well, at least they’ve found the seeds

Potting-on in the greenhouse

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Potting on and on and on……

Organise the gardening books in the Garden Room

Hands up those who want to play librarians

Sow parsley in pots and plant up terracotta pots

It’s not as wet as it looks

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It’s wetter

Hunt down heavenly hellebore heads for bowl display

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Exquisite

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And all just in time for the visitors

 

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