FROST, CUTTING HEDGES, NEW AREAS
POT'S GROWING ON: 09/12/22
I’m in a state of heartwarmed shock this week because my new book, A Greener Life: discover the joy of mindful and sustainable gardening, was named The Times Gardening Book of 2022 - can you believe it? I can’t! Rachel de Thame, writing for The Times books of the year, said A Greener Life is “Engagingly written, practical and packed with useful information”. This came so out of the blue for me, after years of being in a book writing bubble, I will be forever grateful.
I’ve a small number of my books available signed on my website at jackwallington.com/shop, if you’d like one dedicated to you or to someone else as a gift, please let me know. Please bear in mind there are lots of postal strikes in December, for Christmas stocking fillers it’s best to order in the next week to be safe of it arriving in time.
We’ve had the first truly hard frost since we moved to Yorkshire almost two years ago. This morning it was -4.5C and only 6C in the coldest room in the house! The ground was solid and we have another week of the same or even colder temperatures. Part of the reason is the cloudless sky making it cold, dry and sunny during the day, perfect for outdoor winter work.
I’ve begun the task of finishing the first wave of coppicing trees in our coppice. The trees are young but there are many to do. They regenerate creating new habitats; I discuss this more in the main monthly newsletter.
We have something like 100m+ of hedges on our land which I began cutting again in the autumn. There are some big renovations I’d like to make, primarily reducing the height of some to make them more manageable to clip in future years.
I’ve given the left hand hedge in the garden a hard prune back to the point I could see it was originally clipped at. This is a breath of fresh air opening the garden up, feeling less enclosed, linking it to the meadow view.
It was World Soil Day this week and, encouraged by the Soil Association who champion soil knowledge, I helped share my love of soil online with the above soilfie. I love soil life and start all of my designs thinking about, which I explain in A Greener Life.
I spotted this ivy leaved toadflax (Cymbalaria muralis) in town this week, looking dainty and beautiful twining up an electric cable cover. This plant is one of the main plants in my other book Wild about Weeds, if you have it, where I explain how to grow it. I love it and grow it on our patio and steps up to the house.
I’ve started to prepare a major new planting area, it’s at the foot of our main garden and is part of it really, divided by a low wall. All I’ll do is cover the lawn in card, killing the grass over time, and then plant directly into it all. I go into detail about the plants I grow in the main Wild Way monthly newsletter if you’re interested.
I’ve had this hybrid Paphiopedilum orchid, one of two, for many years now and it’s one of the easiest houseplants we have to look after. Needing only a light water and feed each week, using organic orchid fertiliser. I was excited to see a flower stem with two buds on it for the first time this year!