Since June 26th the main crop on our nursery has been the Poinsettia, 2,500 of them for the Christmas festive season and many millions more are being produced and sold throughout the world. As I was tending my crop of Poinsettia I got to thinking about the man who gave his name to this most important plant- Joel Poinsett. A few days later when throwing out some old papers I found an article from an American trade magazine “Grower Talks” by Roy Larson that I reprint here. I hope you find it as interesting as I have.
Most of us enjoy the beauty of summer hanging baskets but have you thought of the possibility of enjoying a hanging basket during the winter months?
Spring flowering bulbs have been available in shops and garden centres for some weeks now. With their vivid pictures of promise for next spring. Always aim to plant daffodils and narcissi early as possible, preferably before the end of October so that their roots start to grow in the warm moist soil, feeding the bulb and its embryo flowers before winter, late planting may cause flowers to abort.
July, August and September – these are (or should be) the lazy, hazy days of summer when we all can enjoy long evenings in our garden with friends, go along to a barbecue or a summer party and enjoy the view of the flowers we planted last month.
One of the most destructive pests found in many gardens today is the invisible vine weevil. The adult emerges from its daytime hiding place to feed on leaves and to lay eggs at the base of the plant. The developing grubs munch away at the roots. The first signs of any damage are when the plant begins to wilt even though the soil is moist. And then it is almost sure to be too late to save it.
As the weather patterns change and if we experience long warm summers as we are told to expect, it is tempting to have a go at growing a grapevine. Many years ago I grew a grapevine at the side of our garage with limited success. It was fun to watch it grow until it eventually covered the whole side of the old wooden garage.
We in this area are fortunate not to be affected by flooding as in other areas of the country but the soil has at times become saturated with water for very long periods of time. These conditions together with a period of warm mild weather will encourage the growth of moss.
If your lawn is like mine, you may have a real moss problem because the moss unlike the grass has continued to grow during the milder weather and in my view we have two choices; kill the moss or keep it.
It never ceases to amaze me how many orchid plants we sell from our houseplant department. They are such good value very often costing less than an arrangement of flowers. They need very little looking after and they can be in flower for up to six months of the year particularly if you choose a Phaelanopsis orchid.
Christmas is over and we are into the dull dark days of winter, so relax and do a spot of armchair gardening. Enjoy looking at the many seed and young plant catalogues that drop through the letterbox at this time of year.
The pictures are fantastic and the descriptions fill us with anticipation of the summer ahead. However a word of warning here, the pictures are very often computer enhanced or taken in sunny climes such as California.