Today will have been the last day gardening for this year for me. While there is still more do to (weeding, leaf sweeping etc), one of the tasks I had for the break was to prune the grapvine so that it puts its focus into growing in the directions that I want it to. It’s not a long job and was done in the space of about an hour as I only have a couple of vines to trim. I’ve adopted the same policy as last year and I’m hoping that it will have a similar result in terms of the amount of crop that is produced.
Once flowers in my garden have finished blooming, I will try to harvest as much seed as possible. Most of these are in envelopes staying cool in tins in the garage. However the advise was to plant any alium seeds and nodules this year rather than wait. These are from the Alium Rosum that I sowed a few weeks back and from the nodules it grows rather than the seeds. Whether this will mean I have a profusion of these in the coming year I don’t know, but it will be nice to have a load more at no extra cost!
It was noticed that one of the plants at work had been sufffering and looked like it was dying. On checking it, the lack of root system showed that the main plant had died away and the offshoots were starting to die from the stem upwards. I brought them home and have split off all the offshoots and planted them out. Hopefully at least a few will root and start to grow.
The weather is still quite mild but I decided that it was a good time to finally move all the less hardy plants from the patio and walls into the greenhouse before they do get caught by a cold stint. Also crammed into the greenhouse were the water plants from the water features that need to avoid being in frozen water. They will now stay here for a few months and I’ll top up the water every now and again, though at this time of year they don’t need much.
This afternoon was spent getting the tree set up now that it has had 24 hours in the house and the branches have settled. I still found a few leaves in the branches, but its such a dense tree towards the bottom it was difficult to find them all. I have a regular set of decorations that I’ve built up over the years and with the exception of a few more commercial options, they are fairly understated decorations using woods, metals and other such natural materials. Even the more commercial ones are there for a reason to reflect or refract the tree lights. Everything seemed to work quite smoothly putting them up with only a few needing to be rearraged to get a sense of balance and the right visual effect. This is probably about as commercial as I get with Christmas as for me it’s about the celebration in 23 days time and what that represents for the world.
This is the earliest I’ve ever bought a Christmas tree, but with next week being 8th December, I know that a lot of the good trees will have gone and given when it gets dark now, if I hadn’t bought this weekend, I would have had to wait until next week. I have to say that I am totally delighted with the tree this year. Although it can’t be seen from this angle, there is even a part that slightly flatter which will make it idea for going against the wall. There’s a bit of lower branch trimming that I need to do, but other than picking out some wet leaves from the branches as it’s been foul weather, there’s not much that I need to do with it. Once inside it will stay like this for a day to let the branches settle and to get used to the new climate.
I moved one of my winter/spring pots out of the garage last week as I had noticed that a bulb has started to poke through. Today it the flower came and it was a snow drop. None of the other bulbs have pushed through yet, so it’s still on it’s own, but sometimes I feel that a single bulb in flower can be just as stunning to look at as a whole bunch. Others will follow I’m sure, but I think that it’s probably fair to say that with the snowdrops now coming, so is winter.
Christmas is still some way off, and in terms of preparing for it, most of what I have been doing has focused on the present side of things. The tree is still a while away and the house decorations are still in the loft. However one thing that I do have to set up in advance is some of the plants for Christmas. Along with a tree, the other plant I assocaite with Chrismas are Hyacinths. However to have a chance of having them flowering at Christmas, they need to be set up about now. This is batch one and batch two, an identical set up, will be started in 2 weeks time to provide a longer display. They will now spend the next few weeks in the dark before moving them into the lounge, hallway etc.
For quite a number of years, my sky line has not been like this. The ground starts just below the crop on this photo which might seem odd but I’m on the side of a hill and these trees start quite some distance below the level of my house. That said, until today both were above the top of my house. Now only one does and that will be reduced sometime later next year. The one that has been trimmed was actually much higher and far bushier. The result of these two trees was that even in the height of the summer when they would be in full leaf, I would loose the sun from the garden from 6pm rather than when the sun would set after 9pm. As you can imagine, that has been a frustration. Thankfully next year this will no longer be an issue and I’ll be able to enjoy what will hopefully be some long hot summer days.
This is the wrong time of year to be pruning my rose, especially given there are still a couple of flowers on it. However today I didn’t really have much of a choice. I had to clear the rose from the window area where I’m getting a replacement window so that it can be properly measured (something that I consider an important thing). It had to be today as I finshed slightly earlier than other week days so I was able to work in relatively reasonable light given how quickly the days close in. It was also reasonable weather which mean that with the patio light on I was able to tidy up after I’d finished pruning.