Continue general maintenance as weather permits.
Cover the leaf-mould heap once the leaves are well wetted to encourage rotting.
Catch up with additions to website, labelling and records.
Coppice some hazel in the outer gardens for use as obelisk poles.
Coppice willows to produce rods for weaving projects and to enhance the display for next year.
Finish coppicing of hazel and willow
Construct new and/or replacement obelisks from saved hazel poles and willow withies, it is also an ideal time to make bird roosts, nesting boxes, bug hotels etc as far as materials permit.
(the following are based on notes from 2021)
Weed, or, if dry, hoe. Multitudes of seedlings germinate in mild spells especially if you have left seed-heads on ‘for the birds’. Be sure to leave some of the useful seedlings to provide plants for next year. Some can even be potted up, to replant later, or for plant sales.
Continue planting herbaceous perennials and shrubs in mild spells, though tender subjects may be better left till next month, or provide protection eg mulch or fleece. Water in and mulch if necessary. If planting lavender in heavy soil, add extra grit, or slightly ‘mound’ plant.
Move plants that are badly positioned or that need grouping for better effect.
If mild, remove winter protection or leave in place till next month.
Put supports in place for climbers such as hops, passionflower, jasmine, solanum and repair or replace existing ones. These may be easily and sustainably constructed from coppiced hazel.
Continue planting perennials, shrubs; last chance to divide large clumps.
eg marshmallow, daylily, monkshood** (wear gloves), Chinese lantern.
Identify useful seedlings: poppy, marigold, evening primrose, borage, perennial borage, shoo-fly, re-locate and water in or pot up for sale.
Put in supports (twigs, bamboos and string or hazel and willow) for herbaceous material that still requires it, ie is likely to flop: valerian, weld, fennel.
Plant out annuals and tender species: Aloysia, Zingiber, Buddleia globosa, Dichroa, Pelargonium, Smallanthes and remove frost protection.
--use garden for classes gatherings and meetings, weather permitting--
Ensure there is a watering plan in place in case of drought.
Continue with planting, watering in, mulching. Check troughs are planted.
Cut back rampant species such as comfrey (use for liquid feed or compost) if they threaten to become floppy or a threat to other species.
Top up bark paths as required, and source plants to fill gaps.
Plant out late annuals: Ammi species, Tagetes and dahlias from cuttings/seed.
Collect seeds as they ripen. Dry and store in paper bags: angelica, lovage, valerian, salsify, foxglove, weld for resowing or exchange.
Cut mint, lemon verbena, balm for teas; trim back NZ spinach and cook!
Continue hoeing and weeding and general maintenance, to strike a balance between keeping order and enabling full expression of each plant.
Continue general maintenance; keep paths clear. Selectively cut back excessive seeders: foxglove, shoofly, teasel, weld, self-heal. Hoe when dry.
Take cuttings: fuchsia, elder, lavender, rosemary, roseroot.
Collect seed: false balm of Gilead, scurvy-grass, cowslip, rue, pregnant onion.
Strip mildewy leaves from poppies, clear lower leaves from cardoon.
Treat perennial weeds such as bindweed if necessary.
Hoe and weed. thin out self-sown seedlings and relocate if required.
Continue seed-collection: teasel, dyer’s greenweed, shoo-fly.
Continue to dead-head dahlia, lavender to prolong display and to tidy.
Sweep and collect leaves to keep paving clear; store to make leaf-mould.
Prune out damaged or fallen branches.
Alternate weekly visits are adequate at this time.
Wrap with fleece or mulch subjects requiring protection.
Take hardwood cuttings: willow, buddleia, rose, elder.
Spruce up the garden before Christmas.
Take in hand-painted labels and store indoors till spring. Add to the number as time permits and repair any worn or broken ones.