January Gardening Jobs – Take care of your trees

January gardening jobs

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Years everyone, plenty of food and fun with the family and all that business. Now it is 2012 and we can’t wait to start a new year of tree growth and life. January is not a month where there is much to do (lucky with the cold weather, I hear you say!) and you’d be right aswell, the weather has been really terrible recently and that in part is why we are doing a little January gardening blog post.

Rather than give an exhaustive list of all the gardening jobs that could be done, we thought we’d just outline a few ones that will help you take care of your trees.

Gardening jobs for January

The weather has been particularly bad recently in the UK and we have been experiencing lots of wind (lots!!!) and particularly strong winds at that. Young trees are particularly susceptible to getting damaged in these conditions, if they get split now it can affect their growth later. So the best advice possible is to get your trees tied back to a fence or strong post if possible, to reduce the amount of effect that the wind has.

Leaf drop

Leaf drop is a common problem that a lot of citrus trees can get at this time of year, especially if they experience sudden dramatic changes in temperature. Have a look at our how to deal with leaf drop blog post.

Lemon leaf close

Young trees

Young trees are particularly prone to damage with the frosts. Evergreens in particular can suffer, so give them a helping hand by placing them nearer the house to give them a little extra protection from the elements. Frosts aren’t good for plants like the Olive Tree so giving them a little covering if we do get bad frosts would be a good idea.

Bay Tree Leaves

Bay trees and olives can be treated harshly by the frosts.

Deciduous trees

Deciduous trees and most native trees, like most in our tree sapling range will be absolutely fine at this time of year. They are dormant at the moment and so won’t be affected by the temperature. If you have received a sapling then they can be stored in a cool dark place for a couple of weeks before you get the chance to go out in the garden and plant it.

Holly Trees

Holly trees are really thirsty trees, so if you haven’t had a chance to pot out your tree into the garden and your holly tree is still in the pot it came in, make sure it receives plenty of water so it doesn’t dry out.

Holly berry

Berries on holly trees looking great at this time of year

Gardening Jobs for November

November gardening jobs

Time to get tree planting Native Trees

November is a great time to get planting native trees and shrubs, especially deciduous trees. Around this time of year they are dormant and therefore it is an ideal time to plant them. As long as the ground isn’t frosty then you can get out and get your native tree saplings in place for the year ahead. As well as planting trees and shrubs out, November is a great time for doing odd jobs that will protect your trees and plants for the next year and making sure they are ready to cope with the onset of cold wintery conditions brrrr.

Walking in a Wood

Enjoying a walk in the woods. Now is the time to plant your Native Trees!

Need to prune?

When the leaves start to turn then and begin falling off the trees then it is ok to start pruning your fruit trees like apples, pears and so on. However do not prune stone fruit trees like the apricot tree in winter as the sap is being drawn into the tree and pruning at this time would cause damage and may leave the tree vulnerable during the cold winter months.

What to do with the apples

If you are lucky there might be a few apples left hanging around on the trees, even when slightly overripe these can be used for making apple stew; which is excellent served on the Christmas table. You can of course make it now and freeze it so it’s ready for Christmas.

Tying a young tree

Making sure young trees are tied securely to prevent wind damage this winter.

Protect your trees in winter

In wind prone areas it is a really good idea to prune flowering rose bushes by around a third or so. This stops the wind from throwing the branches about and potentially damaging them.

Also it is a good idea to collect the leaves from fallen trees and this can be used. Any sort of mulch around the base of a young tree will provide protection for the roots during the winter months. However be careful using mulch, some smaller perennials and Mediterranean herbs do not like having mulch around them and it can rot them.

Help feed little mouths

If there are many apples or other fruits lying on the ground, don’t be overzealous with the clean up routine, you could leave some for the birds and the insects.

Rowan trees are a great tree to have in the garden and waxwings love the bright red berries, of course if you haven’t already got a rowan tree, then you can’t magic one up but you can help out the birds by putting some bird seed out for the birds during the cold months.

In addition to helping out a little on the food front, mulch around the bottom of trees and the skeletons of trees and bushed not in season can provide shelter for wintering insects.

How to make a Cottage Garden

English Country Garden

The lovely cottage garden at Brook Farm.

 

Hello everyone,

Today’s guest blog post is brought to you by Sarah from the wonderful Brook Farm Berrington cottage. Let me now hand you over to Sarah as she tells you how to make a cottage garden….

First buy your cottage in the country, then plant lots of roses, lavender, foxgloves, aquilegia, hollyhocks, pinks and delphiniums and Hey Presto, Bob’s Your Uncle, Simples – you’ve got your cottage garden!

Well OK maybe it takes a bit more than that. For a start on slug infested wet clay soil delphiniums are going to struggle and that’s why we don’t have them.  Hollyhocks like it dry too, so it’s taken a long time to encourage them, foxgloves that grow all over the old vegetable garden refuse to do the same in the cottage garden, and no matter how many pretty different aquilegia we buy, the same old blue and pink ones dominate.  I have no idea why the pinks are unhappy.

But roses, we can do roses, they love our clay and we’ve chosen varieties such as Felicia Buff Beauty, Ellen Poulsen and The Fairy which go on and on and on and on all through the summer into the autumn.  And if there is one flower everyone thinks of when they think ‘cottage garden’ it’s the rose.

Sunflowers in a Country Garden

Lovely Flowers in an English Country Garden, find out how to make your own

So, with a good selection of roses happily flourishing, we have had to find other plants that while perhaps not immediately obvious as cottage garden plants are giving a very convincing performance as cottagey.  Shrub potentillas, for example, like the roses flower all through the season.  Being shrubs they stand up properly and are useful for propping up their floppy cousins the perennial potentillas and the equally lax but deeply gorgeous geums.

Santolinas and box balls give a little structure and act as good supporting acts for the flimsier plants either side and behind them.  The santolinas can be cut into smart balls if you sacrifice the flowers, (which we actually don’t as it just seems mean).

English Country Garden

Sarah’s wonderful English Country Garden

Mingling a few herbs amongst the flowers also works well.  We have lovely grey leaved sages and a lot of marjoram which, though quite good at collapsing, flowers late and insects love it.  Sadly we are too cold and wet for rosemary and have killed off I think at least a dozen before finally accepting the fact.

Lavender struggles here too but I cannot have a garden without lavender so I now have it in pots down the front path which keep it drier in the winter and will also be rescue-able if the weather drops down to -18 as it did last winter.

The main thing I think is to get as much in there as you can, repeat the plants often, get some spring bulbs in early for spring colour and also for later on – a favourite of mine is the drumstick allium which flowers mid to late season and whose seedheads look presentable for a long time after too  They do have a habit of ducking around a shrub rather than growing through it which is what I would prefer them to do, but nature will have her way.  And she’s generous with it too providing desirable ‘weeds’ like poppies, campion and cowparsley – all of which are welcome in our garden.

A cottage garden should be billowing, frothy, lively.  Have a little patience – fill in the time and gaps with annuals if you’re any good at them (I’m not) and deadhead like mad.  Pinks, blues and mauves are my favourite colours in this garden, although the rose Evelyn May is bright orange and is one of the best performers we have.  Make some rules, then break them! Have fun!

I hope you have enjoyed today’s blog, remember if you would like to create your own country garden you can order trees from us at Tree2mydoor. Next day delivery available. You can even stay at Sarah’s cottage! Click to visit the Brook Farm Berrington website.

Top 5 Gardening jobs to do in July

Top 5 Gardening jobs to do in July

1. Water your plants: It’s July and it’s getting into full summer, if they don’t get enough water they might get a dark edge around the leaves, suggesting a lack of watering (see pic). Always remember to keep your trees and plants watered when it’s hot, but be careful not too over water too. Have a look at our previous blog post about recycling water for your trees.

Conference Pear Leaves Needing Water

Pear Leaves in need of water

2. Treat Apple Scab: Apple scab is a disease that is caused by a fungus spores in the air. It looks like little green spots or blotches on the fruit of your apple (see photograph). It’s a disease that apples and one or two other tree species are susceptible too. You don’t need to worry; it’s not dangerous and won’t ruin your tree or stop you enjoying your apples. Still, it’s a good idea to remove infected stems by pruning, because it will reduce the amount of fungus able to spread next year.

How to treat apple scab: You can treat apple scab with chemicals, but this would not be our preferred method. The best way is to prune the apples showing signs of apple scab, you can also burn the fallen leaves of the apple tree to reduce the chance of infection next year.

Apple Scab

Apples with a slight bit of apple scab

Your apples will be happy as larry…

3. Look after your Roses: remove dead blooms to make room for new. Aphids are also quite active at this time of year so make sure you check your roses to see if there are no aphids to get rid of. Take a look at our how to get rid of garden pests blog to find out how to make a natural insecticide that you can use to get rid of aphids.

4. Boring jobs: You’ve been putting it off all spring, and there was no chance  of getting out and doing it in winter, but now it’s summer and there is no excuse not to paint the garden fence. Seriously, july/august is probably our best bet for getting a decent dry spell so we can get out and paint fences, fix things, tie things back, clear out the shed… Whilst it sounds a bit boring, doing it now will free up even more time to collect and enjoy all those lovely fruits in August :)

5. Put conservatory plants outside: with the weather getting nicer, you will be able to put your conservatory trees, like the Lemon tree and orange tree outside at the moment. Just make sure that they don’t get overwatered with all that rain that we may get.

ShareSpring online campaign launched

With the dark cold days of Winter slowly lifting from the UK, welcome signs of Spring are well underway. Crocuses are blooming, Daffodils are shooting and trees are budding!

We at Tree2mydoor want to help to celebrate the coming of Spring by sharing photographs and tales of Spring with each other. So remember,  next time you go outdoors for that lovely weekend walk or to do a spot of gardening, make sure you take your camera with you to catch that early spring magic – Daff’s bursting into life, little lambs playing, squirrel’s getting jiggy with it (on second thoughts maybe not that) or the first buds of life from a beautiful flowering cherry tree – whatever symbolises Spring to you!

Share Spring with us via Twitter (#ShareSpring) or the Tree2mydoor Facebook page by posting a photo that captures spring for you. If you don’t have a camera then you can still Share Spring, by giving us a little update with what’s going on in your garden this Spring.

Tegg's nose in Spring

Tegg’s Nose, Macclesfield in Spring

Calling out to all our customers and anyone who has ever received a tree from us: we would ABSOLUTELY LOVE to see some photos of your trees that we delivered in the past, budding and coming into leaf. Please post a pic to the Tree2mydoor facebook page.

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