Monday, 21 January 2013

Snow Days

Hoping to avoid losing more shrubs (as we have in previous years) – we have invested in horticultural fleece. Our once 6 feet tall Phormium Tenax was reduced to a rotting stump a couple of years ago in similar snow bound weather. After stripping away the rotting leathery strap leaves (no mean task) we have nurtured and encouraged it back to life. Now the gorgeous, tender young leaves are wrapped up (and securely pegged down) in their duvet like fleece and hopefully will survive the cold spell.

Other snow bound shrubs have had the snow knocked off which may bend branches and bubble wrap swathe the pots on the terrace.

Snow days are a good time to have a look at the structure of the garden as the dark wood of shrubs stand out and you can see the role (if any) they play in the structure of the border. Are they spaced optimally? Clustered in unpleasing groups? Make a note and move them when the weather improves.

Snow days are also a good time to plan ahead on planting. If you care to follow trends in gardening current trends include Kniphofias (easy to grow and great impact in the border) clipped evergreens, Hydrangeas (very versatile as climbers or border shrubs) and (our favourite) Umbellifers are a huge favourite with designers and cover a range of plants – our favourites include Angelica archangelica, Astrantium and Fennel – all give a wayward and romantic look to the border.