Cheiridopsis caroli-schmidtii

Around the Garden on a Damp November Day


A little Introduction

From time to time I will share a few things that I am doing around the garden. Hopefully this will give you some ideas and inspire you to try something new. I shall cover a range of things including my greenhouse, flowers and vegetables (my giant veg cultivation is on a separate blog). My greenhouse is used all year and as well as growing vegetables houses the National Collection of Cheiridopsis and a significant range of other Mesembs - more about these later.  


At this time of year the clean up starts. When you read the books they always instruct the best time to do things. I have found my best time is when I have the time! This means the ground might be a bit wet and the weather not favourable but a little progress here and there makes a difference.

I have started clearing out the borders and tidying up, some areas will get dug through if it is not too wet. I always feel if I don't get on top of the weeds at this time of year then I will never catch up. (An alternative my co-director Sue utilises is the 'no dig' method, claiming old age has curtailed her more strenuous activities - she writes about her experiences in her blog 'Outside No. 9' reclaiming the garden at her new property)

I compost as much as I can and then use this to improve the quality of the soil on my vegetable patch.

If you have any Dahlias left out in the garden make sure you dig them up if they are not in a safe sheltered place. I have lifted them this weekend, cleaned them up and will store them in a dark dry spot in the frost free garage. I would like to say I label them as they are named varieties but I lost track of them years ago.


If you want to maximise your use of your greenhouse then you might decide to bubble wrap your greenhouse. I do this each year in part of my greenhouse. It is best to use horticulture bubble wrap (bigger bubbles) providing better insulation and will last longer. It takes a while to fit, I purchased some greenhouse bubble wrap clips which work really well.

I do use some heating in the greenhouse so the bubble wrap helps reduce the heating bills but it will make a difference even providing an extra layer of protection against frost in an unheated greenhouse. The one thing to watch for is moist stagnant air which can be the breeding place for diseases. 

My greenhouse is a busy place in the winter as my National Collection of Cheiridopsis are winter growers. ( Plant Heritage Society ) I will explain how to grow these South African desert plants at a later point but hopefully these pictures will brighten your day.

On those wet days

I am already beginning to plan for next year. I have grown large numbers of annuals in recent years but now considering if I put a large area to wild flowers next year. It gives me opportunity to look through what is available and make some advanced selections from my old favourites and some new interesting varieties. Otherwise it's time for a cup of tea with other gardeners discussing what to grow next!

Nick is one of the directors of JustSeed Ltd, he enjoys growing vegetables, flowers and a range of unusual plants.






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