Christmas is fast approaching and the Poinsettia will be around the shops enticing us by its vivid red bracts.
They do not like temperature change – so don’t buy off the pavement or outside displays but instead make sure they are inside out of draughts or they will show their dislike by dropping their leaves or turning yellow.
As outside temperatures drop, winter colour is a bit sparse but in the last few years an increasing number of hardier varieties such as pansies, violas, cyclamen and primulas give us an extra chance to enjoy an extension of summer. Cyclamen come in such a brilliant choice of colours and are particularly lovely, but they don’t like direct sunlight, being watered from the top, or being overwatered. Make sure that dead flowers are removed or the stems will rot and botrytis (a grey furry mould) will spread quickly to kill your lovely plant!
As our thoughts turn towards the festive season, making a wreath for the front door is one of those pleasures we can all enjoy using seedheads, sprigs of berries, fir cones, leylandii or other evergreen branches, decorated with ribbons and cinnamon sticks for example. Anyone finding they haven’t got any variegated foliage can resort to the spray can as gold and silver sprayed on green leaves will last for ages and give a very professional finish.
When you’re clearing the remnants of perennials and annuals from the garden, spare a thought for the gardener’s friend – the hedgehog. Hedgehogs are officially in decline so take care when mowing grass as they use long grass and compost heaps to make their nests and hibernate.
At our Christmas ‘do’ on 4th December at the Villages Hall, (still time to get a ticket by the way if you’re quick) -we’ll be handing out copies of our Spring Show programme, including the categories for the summer photographic competition so you’ll have plenty of time to get snapping; as well as our 2014 programme of talks, and visits – including our Open Gardens on June 22nd. So if you’re stuck for ideas what better than to buy your relative or friend a gift of annual membership to the Gardening Club at just £7.50 – or a ticket to see Christine Walkden at our March meeting (£8 for non-members or £6 for members).
We will be having our annual brief hibernation until 2014 starts with a chance to see what florist Toni Smith can create with a bunch of supermarket flowers – on February 5th.
So best wishes of the Season for you all, and I hope to see you at our annual knees up!