Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Posted By: in Gardening

Winter FoliageAh, December, you have enough to do this month so don’t worry, the list will wait. For those of you who finished your Christmas shopping in July and who’s organizational skills leave the rest of us mortals in the dust…here is YOUR list:

Maintenance

– clean, oil and sharpen your tools. A bucket of sand is a great shovel cleaner. Fix or recycle any broken equipment. Organize and tidy the work areas on dry days. Be ruthless. Dispose of the old, unused pesticides, paint etc. at your local disposal depot.

You can go to www.metrovancouverrecycles.org and use the drop down menu to find a location for the things you want to recycle.

ConifersTrees

If you are fortunate enough to have some conifers in your yard you can use the trimmings to decorate pots. You can plant any time the ground is not frozen.

You can remove dead, damaged or diseased branches. Save the main pruning for a little later though. You can move trees once they are fully dormant.

Shrubs

Any shrubs with winter colour can also be used in pots. Actually, if you have sparkly spray paint, you can pretty much use any tree or shrub in decorative pots.

Some sprays last longer than others and make sure your branch/leaf/vine is dry before you spray. You can do some tidy up pruning now if you like and moving of hardy shrubs once they are fully dormant. Save your main pruning till January or February though.

Garden beds

Still time to plant your bulbs. Avoid working the ground when its frozen though. You can rake leaves into the beds around the plants to topdress if you like. Save the fertilizing till spring. Take a good look at the bones of your garden beds now that most of the leaves are gone or going and plan any changes now.

Lawns

Avoid heavy traffic on frosty lawns as it will cause damage. Celebrate the absence of mowing!

Ponds

Make sure your ponds don’t freeze over completely as the trapped gasses will kill fish. Your fish are probably not moving much at all and you can hold off on the feeding. There are volumes and even YouTube vids devoted to winter fish care…hunker down with an eggnog latte and get a few tips and tricks for pond and fish care.

White AmaryllisIndoor bulbs

There is still time to try an elegant Amaryllis bulb or start some fragrant Paperwhites on your windowsill.

Birds

Time to stock up on some wild birdseed and make sure your feeders are clean and ready. Peanut butter smeared pinecones rolled in birdseed are a fun and messy craft to do for our feathered friends.

Don’t forget to take a little bit of time for yourself in all the rush this month. You can tuck in with some seed catalogues or a good book.

I’ll leave you with this…I was having a Martha Stewart moment the other day while pulling the lovely burgundy coloured blackberry canes from the back of my garden and thought…Hey, wouldn’t these look great wound into a ball and sprayed with some kind of glittery spray paint and hung from the large tree in my front yard?!

A trip to the local hardware store and two hours of blood and sweat later I came into the house…scratches up both arms, blood dripping from the lobe of one of my ears, multiple puncture wounds in both hands (even though I was wearing heavy duty gloves) and a festive splash of silver spray paint on one knee (always make sure the spray can is pointed at what you want to spray) and stalked into the kitchen.

Hubby smiled serenely and handed me my tea, he said not a word…smart man and calmly and carefully backed away. I think I will have another go at it in a week or so…or maybe I’ll have another Christmas cookie and let the feeling pass.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Laurelle
Laurelle Olfdord-Down

Laurelle Olfdord-Down

Laurelle is a certified horticulturalist and Landscape designer. She is currently an up and coming apple guru, growing over 120 cultivars which explains her passion for edible garden design. Laurelle works part time for Art’s Nursery. You can also interact with her through Art’s monthly newsletter, our blog and our gardening channel on YouTube.


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