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The Original Garden Visitor's Guide

Sue's Garden - Early Winter Jottings

Welcome back everyone. How have you been getting on during the last couple of months? I hope you managed to get out and about and visit some gardens during your spare time.

So what are the things which keep us busy in our own gardens at this time of year?

With the cold weather looming (already upon many of us) it is time to protect the crowns of herbaceous plants with straw or some dry leaves. If you have a tree fern for example, you can fold over the large fronds to cover the crown and then wrap in fleece and tie up...this will protect it from cold winds and frost. If your garden is quite exposed and you have a lot of plants in pots, you may want to protect the rootballs by wrapping the pots in hessian, bubble wrap, fleece or newspaper.

After the gorgeous autumn colour on trees and shrubs comes the inevitable leaf drop...so, don't forget to collect up your leaves and dispose of or bag them up and keep for a few months to create a leaf mould for your borders.

There is still time to plant your tulip bulbs. They make a stunning display if planted in a pot. I like to cram them in the pot so that I get a full on blousy display. It is up to you whether you lift your bulbs and replant the next year or leave them in situ. Some bulbs perform less well the following year if they are left in the ground or in a pot.

Carry on cutting back faded herbaceous perennials to keep the garden looking neat and tidy. If it is not too wet you can lift and divide perennials to increase the number of plants in the garden and this will also help to stop any particular plant taking over a certain area of your border.

Winter at Batsford Arboretum

Batsford Arboretum
Viburnum tinus
Viburnum tinus

My plant of the month for November has to be Viburnum tinus 'Gwenllian'. A beautiful evergreen with tiny pink buds which are just coming out into flower. A delight in the garden at this time of year.

Now, I haven't been to visit gardens this time round but I can recommend some that I think you will want to visit. Here they are:-

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Romsey, Hampshire - these gardens are open through the year offering four seasons of wonderful plants for you to feast your eyes on. They hold 11 National Plant collections, 250 Champion trees and have the largest winter garden in Europe.

National Botanic Garden of Wales, Llanarthe, Carmarthenshire - famous for having the largest single span glasshouse in the world...this is the perfect place to visit in winter as you will be under cover and you will discover some gorgeous exotics from around the world.

Batsford Arboretum, Batsford Park, Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire - holds one of the largest private collection of trees in Great Britain. You have 50 acres to lose yourself in and look at the amazing collection of Japanese maples and cherries. The ornamental barked trees will take your breath away...a gem and definitely a feast for your senses.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Inverleith Row, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR - a centre of horticultural excellence across 70 acres which are home to seven percent of all known plants. In the heart of the garden stands the iconic Palm House, the tallest of its kind in Britain ... plants from ten climatic zones across both tropical and temperate regions of the globe. This is a great place to visit in the winter as you can spend all your time in the glasshouses where you are sure to find something in flower. You won't be disappointed you came.

Keep warm if you are out in your garden or garden visiting and above all have fun.

Sue x

National Botanic Garden of Wales

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Winter Garden

Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh