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You may remember that we saved lots of seeds last week and wrote about the importance of storing them carefully ‘somewhere cool and dark, well labelled, in paper bags not plastic’. Well, when we put away our last harvest of seeds, we forgot the all-important advice, ‘in mouse proof containers’. Yes, when we went to the potting shed, we discovered that we have been feeding the local mouse population, and from the chaos they have created it looks like they have been partying every night for weeks. Every single envelope and bag nibbled and emptied. What they didn’t eat they mixed up, along with shredded paper and a liberal sprinkling of mouse manure. In fact, we are wondering about patenting and selling envelopes of Mouse Mix. The result would be a riot of colour and flower types. Everything from opium poppies to hollyhocks, from Nigella to marigolds, from Cosmos to Ammi majus. We will find a corner of the garden to sow Mouse Mix in the spring and show you what happens.
The latest cohort of budding garden designers has completed their eight-week course and left with exciting designs and planting plans for their gardens. We very much look forward to seeing the implemented designs in the course of next year. The next Introduction to Garden Design starts on 16th January and there are still a few places left if you are interested. Do get in touch.
We had a very busy and successful day this week looking at the Care of Fruit Trees. There was a lot to cover, with participants interested in a wide range of ‘top’ fruit: apples, pears and plums of course, but also quinces, figs, apricots, medlars. We looked at everything from selecting the right cultivar for your specific requirements to how to plant, prune, train, feed and how to deal with pests and diseases. We will be running this course again in February if you would like to join us then.
This is a really good time of year to prune many of your shrubs and trees. We will be running another Pruning Shrubs & Roses course in February, but next week we will be looking at the challenge of rescuing shrubs and small trees which have not been pruned for some years, in Renovation Pruning. Let us know if you would like to join us on this useful course.
Don’t forget to book your place on one of our Christmas Wreath and Christmas Table Decoration workshops in early December. We have just a few spaces left now.?
Upcoming courses with availability:
Plants for Free: Propagation & Seed Saving 21st November
Renovation Pruning 22nd November
Floristry Workshop: Tablescapes 26th November
Floristry Workshop: Christmas Table Decorations 10th December
Christmas Wreath Workshops 3rd, 5th, 12th, 13th December
Plant of the Week
This is the only Cotoneaster which can grow to a small tree, up to 6m tall. It is semi-evergreen and has spectacular flat clusters of white flowers, followed by a profusion of vivid red berries in autumn and winter. The flowers are a magnet for bees and the berries are eaten by birds. It was first raised in Exbury Gardens in the 1930s.