- Gather up the last of the fallen leaves as accumulation can cause damage to your lawn or shrub beds. Ideally, put them in a compost heap.
- Prune bush and shrub roses to prevent root rock.
- Weather permitting give your roses, fruit bushes and beech hedging a winter wash with Armillatox, this will help to prevent black spot and greenfly attack next season (you need a dry day).
- Keep an eye on houseplants, don’t over water but most will benefit from been misted on their foliage twice a week if possible. This helps to prevent the edges of the leaves turning brown.
- If the weather is agreeable try and get out for a walk in the lovely countryside of Westmeath.
- All those gardening books you got for Christmas will have some new ideas, armchair gardening in moderation is allowable.
Getting your garden into shape
You would be forgiven for a lack of enthusiasm to get into the garden this time of year. But if you are suffering from cabin fever there’s always loads to be done. Plants are at their most dormant now so it’s the ideal time to do any moving i.e. plants that have outgrown their space or ones that need to be divided as long as the ground isn’t frozen solid, now is the best time. It’s also the best time to plant beech hedging, whitethorn and all types of trees, plants planted now will have a head start. Pile on farmyard manure around rhubarb for an early crop in spring.
If you don’t feel like doing any digging, it’s a good time to take a look at your garden and see where changes or additions need to be made and if there is no colour in your garden right now, plant any or all of the following to rectify the situation. Hamamelis Mollis (Witch-hazel), Viburnum Tinus, Viburnum bod. Dawn, Mahonia Winter Sun to name but a few. One of the fundamentals of good garden design is that it should contain a minimum 20% of evergreen plants to give it substance and background during the months of winter. Oh if you’re like me I’ve just found a packet of autumn bulbs I meant to plant weeks ago, I’m going to do it now. So that’s all for this week, they’ll still flower