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Susan’s News – January

Susan’s Musings

Birds and Branches

It is with great delight that I look out my window to see so many birds visiting my garden

I began feeding the birds back in autumn and continue to do so now more than ever. I am lucky to see the usual gorgeous Robin, all fluffed up into a little puff ball and some Blue Tits which chatter away to each other. Blackbirds, Wood Pigeons and Dunnocks also visit, they love the Peckish fatballs also the sunflower hearts and “no mess” seed that I put out for them. The branches of my Acer Bloodgood and my Cotinus Grace make good perches for them (also ideal for hanging feeders) and just over my fence there are large Pinus sylvestris and holly bushes for them to take shelter, they also loved the berries from the neighbours Taxus. They love foraging around in leaves lying in the borders. I break the ice for them to get a drink from an old bowl I have there, I’m sure for them life is good!!

Love the Garden

Yes the garden is a blessing at times like this. There is plenty to see and enjoy and for many, it’s a haven when there is nowhere else to go or if you live on your own.

It’s good to look forward and to prepare for the time ahead. Some bulbs have already been popping through the soil with the earlier mild weather. We will have our autumn flowering bulbs in stock that will be available to purchase on our web shop here. These will give you a beautiful burst of autumn colour if you haven’t had a chance to plant previously. Dahlia, lillium, begonia, gladioli, to name but a few. Plant them in your borders, in your pots or under shrubs and trees to enjoy in the days to come.

Keep Your Garden Looking Great

Keep an eye on your alpine plants to ensure they aren’t smothered with leaves and the like. Remove any older Helleborus leaves that are spotted black to prevent the spread of leaf spot. Other herbaceous plants may also need tidied up and, if the ground isn’t frozen, this is a good time to move plants when they are dormant.

Hamamelis and Sarcococca are a couple of gorgeous shrubs to have at this time of year with their beautiful scent, enjoy them whilst they ‘do their thing’! Some other shrubs can be tidied whilst they are dormant. Take away any diseased, straggly and poorly shaped or crossing stems of deciduous shrubs, also climbers, including roses. Other climbers, such as Ivies or Virginia Creeper for example, can be cut back and tied in at this time. Birds will start to look for somewhere to nest so better to do this now before they move in! Put up your own nesting boxes for the birds!

Apple and pear trees can be pruned now if you haven’t done so already. I do recommend the RHS website for more detailed information, they have such helpful advice and tips.

Plant Seeds & Seedlings

Indoors, or if you’re lucky enough to have a greenhouse, you could begin to plant some seeds of which we have many. There are numerous flowers to choose from such as Petunia, Dahlia and Sweet Pea to name but a few. Don’t forget ‘Grow Your Own’ too, herbs, chillies and tomatoes are a good start. With the weather being so cold and our days so short, please find more instruction again on the RHS website to prevent “damping off” of seedlings. Different seedlings require different conditions to do well, a good seed compost mixed with grit/vermiculite to provide good drainage will be your best option.

Making the Most of What you Have

Some of us are not lucky enough to have a garden space but window boxes, balcony areas are, or can be, put to good use. A balcony or small porch would be ideal for rhododendrons which come in dwarf varieties and evergreen azaleas too would do well giving structure all year round. Other options such as Camellia or patio roses would give gorgeous flowers. On a windowsill, geraniums have some lovely scented foliage as well as beautiful flowers and are simple to keep.

Brighten Up Your Home and Garden

Having houseplants in your home will be a pleasure to look at, health benefits from this are great, as well as calming they also are good for the air around you. Orchids, succulents, ferns and foliage mixed together would give you a gorgeous indoor garden.

No matter your circumstances, there is something for everyone at Mains of Drum to help make a start with Spring on it’s way. Please do visit our website which will be updated regularly with new items as we take delivery of our Spring ranges. Our stock of rhododendrons and azaleas from a specialist grower, our many roses from growers including David Austin and a huge variety of trees will be in stock by the end of February, so when we are able to open our doors, there will be plenty for you to choose from.

With Best Wishes



Susan Lindsay

Plant Area Manager

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