Feb 2020 update
Want to show this photo of a patch of Oregano that I severely trimmed back in November. This is why herbs need regular & (sometimes) harsh trimming. Look at it now! I’ve just picked a bunch for some homemade tomato soup & you can’t even see where I took it from! I’m going to let the oregano bloom, for the bees, before I give it another good ‘hair cut’.
I’d don’t know about you, but my garden is a hot mess. It’s doesn’t know if it’s coming or going! I have some plants that I thought had died over summer revive themselves, I have blooms everywhere, Fall color and then we had 2 nights of frost this week! What’s a plant to do with itself…
Tidy up – just not too tidy!
It’s important to keep a tidy garden – helps ensure it stays healthy and disease free. But you’re garden shouldn’t be too tidy. Seedheads can provide food for birds and leaf litter can give shelter to small critters and bugs. A little bit of mess is OK because a garden that’s too tidy is a bit of a desert for wildlife.
I’ve been topping up some of my beds with fresh compost from my bins & then putting down some new mulch over the top. Remember that if you mulch around trees, to keep the depth to no more than 3″ and to keep the mulch away from the base of the tree.
One thing I really needed to do was tidy up some of my herbs. As a legacy from the summer heat, I had an oregano patch that was leggy, woody and very untidy. There was a lot of new growth coming up from recent rains but I needed to get rid of the untidy ‘top’. The way I trim my herbs is quite crude but very effective – grab handfuls of the ‘untidy stuff’ and cut it all back to one height. This encourages the new growth from the base of the plant and will give me an attractive and useful oregano patch in next to no time.
It was interesting that only 2′ away from this patch was another oregano bush that died from the summer. Small differences in the immediate environment of each plant made all the difference in what lived and what died!
This is the way I trim/tidy most of my herbaceous plants:- culinary herbs, lavender, salvias, sages etc. I call it ‘giving them a haircut’! Plants trimmed this way don’t look very pretty for a short while so I wouldn’t do a whole bed at one time. Just a few plants here and there until everything that needs trimming gets trimmed!
Rain has encouraged a number of my plants to bloom quite strongly. Rain after drought spurs many plants to flower and then seed to reproduce themselves. It’s a biological imperative for any organism to spread their genetic line & rain will make them try! These are all photos I’ve taken this week.
There doesn’t seem to have been any damage to the garden from the recent two nights of below freezing temperatures. I’m hoping that the warmer weather this weekend will give my honeybees some extra nectar from the flowers.
I think we all need to be more in tune with the weather that’s actually happening and less with the date on the calendar. Whether we agree or not, like it or not, it seems that our climate is changing rapidly. Nature knows what’s going on and our wildlife will follow those weather patterns. So, we just need to pay more attention to what Mother Nature is doing, try to keep our gardens healthy & look out for our local wildlife.
keep warm, keep safe