10 tasks to prepare for winter

So the weather has shot a couple of opening salvos in the form of named storms, the Sun is predicting the coldest winter for 30 years (Elaine won’t have seen this headline, she pretends to only look at the Times newsfeed ….) and there’s a restless feeling afoot that one should be doing something to prepare …probably a hangover from our Neolithic forebears who would be gorging on hairy mammoth to lay down a layer of winter fat and lining their caves with dead leaves and bracken. Here are a few jobs that will satisfy that primeval urge.  1. Bring...

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Tulips v trilliums- what’s your Brexit choice?

That glorious phrase ‘hope springs eternal’ lies at the heart of every gardener’s planning.  A tricky sentiment with the current  political shenanigans, but when the bulb catalogues come thudding on to the doormat ….oh boy! Your mind can go soaring again imagining sheets of glistening crocuses, pools of dancing daffodils, acres of bright tulips…… I have perfected a technique over the years for dealing with these luscious brochures – I wonder if you do something similar? I go through the catalogue once and tick everything I like the look of (usually hundreds of things).  Then I go through it again...

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How do you solve a problem like September?

Like the other pantomime sisters, Elaine and Laura hurried off this week to join erudite company (the Garden Media Guild), leaving me (the younger, more attractive one if you recall) back at my home to start this week’s post on September. Although who actually plans for their September garden? Obviously prepping for spring bulbs is VITAL because we’re desperate for something to happen in the New Year. But planning for September is like ordering the 2am sausage rolls for a wedding dance – who really cares? Aren’t we all wrecked and ready for home by then? Obviously gardeners with...

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Hedge trimming anyone?

Now is a good time to be sharpening up your hedge-lines  but to be honest I’ve always considered hedgetrimming to be the garden equivalent of hoovering – just much more dangerous. It usually involves yards of heavy cable and a dodgy gadget known as a circuit breaker which is apparently there to save you getting electrocuted, So when E and C nominated me to take up Ryobi’s offer to trial their hedge trimmer in a topiary challenge I just assumed that they’d got together and decided that I was the most dispensable sister and, as usual, had set me up....

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