During this time of various levels of social distancing, Gardening Group has been sending out excellent newsletters to the regular members of the group via email.
Hello Everyone. I do hope that you are all staying safe and well and enjoying your garden or outdoor spaces. As we are no longer able to meet I thought of keeping touch – and hopefully have a bit of fun. We all need this in the current situation.
1. Conceal the guide.
2. blue dilly,dilly.
3. Material for sundress.
5. Overworked girl.
6. Sugary Prince.
7. Remember Me.
8. German wine for Ivy’s partner.
9. The shepherds friend and the bakers ingredient.
10. Line up for the dolly.
12. Colourful accommodation.
13. Instrument has roof support.
14. Crustation combines with Adams downfall.
15. Weight of gold.
16. A taxi for an era.
17. A Foppish feline.
18. Cold fall.
20. This is more than a saga.
Answers to be revealed next month.
A farmer purchased an old, run-down, abandoned farm with plans to turn it into a thriving enterprise. The fields were grown over with weeds, the farmhouse was falling apart, and the fences were broken down. During his first day of work, the town preacher stops by to bless the man’s work, saying, “May you and God work together to make this the farm of your dreams!” A few months later, the preacher stops by again to call on the farmer. Lo and behold, it’s a completely different place. The farm house is completely rebuilt and in excellent condition, there is plenty of cattle and other livestock happily munching on feed in well-fenced pens, and the fields are filled with crops planted in neat rows. “Amazing!” the preacher says. “Look what God and you have accomplished together!” “Yes, reverend,” says the farmer, “but remember what the farm was like when God was working it alone!”
God made rainy days, so gardeners could get the housework done.
A toddler who was found chewing on a slug. After the initial surge of disgust the parent said, “Well, what does it taste like?” “Worms,” was the reply.
A Few Jobs to do now
- Start to direct sow hardy annuals, eg marigolds, poppies, dill, cerinthe, nigella, etc.
- Harden off seedlings that have been started off indoors on warm still days. Place them outside during the day, but take them in again late afternoon, and do this for about a week or so. This way they will get used to the cooler conditions before being planted outside. Start planting out half-hardies, eg.cosmos, in sheltered spots at end of the month.
- Pot cuttings of tender perennials, eg. perlagoniums taken late last summer or autumn. They’ll be well rooted now and will benefit from some fresh compost and more space for root formation before planting in their summer position.
- Plant out sweet peas– two plants to each upright. Dig a good, deep hole and fill the base with farmyard manure. Tie them in to the base of the arch or frame and water them in well.
- Create new plants from last year’s pelargoniums – take cuttings now and they’ll be ready to be replanted in a couple of months and be in full flower in four
- Keep on top of the tiny annual weeds emerging with a hoe. Only hoe on dry days – this way any weeds that you hoe will die off and wilt quickly. Run the blade back and forth over the soil to break it up and cut down any of the newly sprouting weeds. You can save so much back-breaking work later on if you do this every other day for a few minutes.
- Perennials such as bindweed will start to appear big-time now. Dig them out, tracing the roots as far as you can, or train the tip up a bamboo cane and then treat with a suitable weedkiller.
- Cut back the last of the perennials and lightly fork over the soil carefully without damaging emerging shoot
- Lavender plants need cutting back now to prevent them from looking sparse. Give the plant a short back and sides with secateurs to snip off old flower stems and shoot tips. Don’t prune hard into old wood, as this will prevent new growth. While you are pruning, shape the plants into domes and remove any leggy or unwanted stems. Give the plants a weekly liquid feed during the summer, to encourage growth
- Last chance to cut back shrubs, especially those grown for colourful winter stems (eg dogwood or willow). Cut back to buds about knee height, then feed and mulch.