Cherrie's Garden Notes
I was out raking leaves this week.
The little cherry tree “ KoJo-No-Mai” had shed it's last and left a bronze canopy on the grass below. This little scattering of leaves had been annoying away at me for a while, so there was something really satisfying in getting out the bright red fine-toothed rake (something of a style object I think) and garnering them in.
With leaves, it’s a case of the more the merrier, whether you are simply delighting in their glorious colours, raking them in as I was, kicking them about just for fun before you rake them in or gathering them up to make leaf mould, that totally fashionable, in its synchronicity with recycling, marvellous free resource for your garden.
All you need to do is to store leaves (not evergreens) in a bin, a box or in bags, wait for nature to do it's thing (about 2 years) and then add to the soil where it will make a great soil improver, lawn conditioner or mulch. It can also be used in seed and potting mixes. Making leaf mould replicates the sort of magic which happens in woodland every day, providing a humus-rich environment for plants and a blanket to keep roots and shoots protected till Spring.
While we wait for Spring there are always the plants of the moment to enjoy and whether you are on the lookout for trees or shrubs to plant right now or in search of pots or containers to brighten the front door, the back door, the terrace, the steps or the yard, the growers and show-ers who set up shop each weekend in St George’s Market can offer plenty to tempt.
Among them is Lee White who with her husband Ian transforms a concrete corner of the market into a travelling garden. These days the market is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, so I popped along after last week’s programme to ask Lee what customers were buying and what she recommends for Autumn and or Winter show.
The plants on her list include the traditionally seasonal Skimmia Japonica “Rubella”, a pretty low-growing Persicaria Vacciniifolia, Leucothoe “Scarletta” with it’s lovely Autumn foliage, the bright berries of Gaulteria Winter Pearls called, not surprisingly,“Big Berry” and finally, Callicarpa Bodinieri Var. Giraldii “Profusion” with it's tiny, shiny psychedelic purple berries.
Any one of them would be a real asset to the garden at this time of the year.
It’s hats off to Agnes Junk, Joan Nicholson and all the members of The Friends of Grove Park Community Garden who have made their horticultural home in the grounds of Grove Park. The group are really passionate about creating a number of gardens within the space allocated to them and already have twelve raised beds, avenues of fruit bushes and a walk way planted with Clematis, Honeysuckle and other lovely climbers.
An elegant seat, made possible by the Dean of St Anne’s Cathedral and the Black Santa Appeal, sits framed by mature trees with a vantage point over the garden, the perfect spot from which to watch the garden grow and thrive. And if Agnes and friends have anything to do with it, it will. We paid a visit during the week, as Agnes had been in touch to ask for some advice for the garden’s next stage. Keith Crawford came with us, the advice was duly given and we all look forward to going back to Grove Park in the New Year to see how it all comes along.