Gardening: Cold spell gives a clear view for pruningBy Linda Fort
January 20, 2012
After furious activity in the garden during the recent warm weekend, I have now been moved to contemplation by the turn to cold weather.
Tramping over the lawn and the borders when they are frozen is bad for them so I make the excuse to stay in the warm and use the time to think about the coming season.
There are two tangled areas in the garden which – as soon as it warms up again – I need to tackle.
Last winter I hacked back a huge summer flowering jasmine (Jasminum officinale) which was leaning away from the fence and reaching out into the Weigela florida variegata in front of it.
Thanks to the mammoth effort last year, the jasmine is now under control but I can see fronds reaching out to do the same again.
Because it is winter, the weigela has no leaves so it is easy to see where the jasmine (which has leaves) is intruding. The same goes for a Clematis montana rubra which reaches into a neighbouring ceanothus. The clematis has no leaves at the moment so it is easier to see where its twining vines should be brought under control.
This clematis should not be cut right back now because the flowers will be lost, but an act of judicious management will do no harm.
Thank to my midwinter mow and edge-trim, the garden looks remarkably well-kempt.
The jobs that I am identifying are ones that can be completed in about 20 minutes or half-an-hour – which as a fairweather gardener, sounds about right to me.
In the recent windy weather my tiny garden greenhouse – the kind with a metal frame and polythene ‘tent’ with zips which slips over it – had its roof ripped away.
I am now wondering whether to bother to buy another, repair the existing one or get a bigger one.
I use it for about a month each year in March when seedlings started on windowsills need more space and light and it is just about warm enough to risk putting them outside with protection.
Although I use it so little, it is extraordinarily useful for that vital month in the growing season so on the whole I think I should buy another. This morning, having waited for 20 minutes for my ancient computer to fire up, I found a welcome email from a friend.
She told me she has snowdrops in her garden. I went out to look for mine. Nothing. Now I am suffering from gardening envy.
I will have to reproduce a picture of snowdrops just to make me feel better.