Well firstly Merry Christmas to all from us here at Mow-N-Blow and I trust you will all have a very merry one at that. At Christmas there is one flower that we all know and associate with Christmas. The Poinsettia named after Joel Poinsett a US Minister to Mexico who brought the plant to the US around the early 1800’s. You probably also know that the plant has a tale of folklore around a poor little Mexican girl who had only weeds to take to the local church celebration of Christ’s Birthday, and the legend goes that these weeds turned into beautiful red blooms over night and the tale was born.
You may not know that the French call the flower “Etoile D’amour”, the Love Star and that the Mexicans call it “Noche Buena” which means Christmas Eve. Mexican Friars have been using this plant for over 300 years at Christmas to depict the Star of Bethlehem due to the shape of the leaf, and that the flower is so popular in the US that there is a national Poinsettia Day on the 12th December.
Have a fantastic Christmas
One of my greatest joys in the garden is a pond, the sight of fish and the sound of running water are great but I also enjoy the plants that come with water gardening. The construction of whole habitat is something to be relished especially if you know how to get it right.
In winter though there are still maintenance issues, the leaves should be cleared from the pond by now and the plants cut back. Filters and pumps cleaned and maintained and either turned off for the winter or in tip-top shape to run right through, something Mow-N-Blow can always do for you.
A small football or piece of polystyrene placed on the surface does help to keep a clear patch of water when it freezes over but if you do have to break the ice don’t smash it, pour warm water on to the ice to create a hole. The sound of smashing ice can be very damaging to fish.
As an award winning aquatic gardener I’m only too happy to help with any questions you may have regarding your pond or water feature.
Following on with the theme from last week, garden waste is not just leaves, its all the arisings that we have collected all year and now sit in a corner of our garden. Perhaps the fire that was to be burnt is now sitting sodden and useless until next year when it’s finally dry again, perhaps the compost area is just a pile of green waste.
Well it’s a good time to sort this out, rent a chipper from the local tool hire company and turn your fire heap and mixed pile of rubbish into a good mulch for the beds, get some old pallets and build a new compost heap for the summer ahead. Although of course Mow-N-Bow can always do this for you.
During the year I have turned the compost heaps of grass mulch and other soft arisings for my clients at Mow-N-Blow and will give the heaps one last turn, and next to them get the leaf mulch heaps ready for their two year turn around, eventually going back on the beds for that little extra blanket before it gets really cold.
With all the horrible weather we have at this time of year it’s not hard to forget about our gardens, you know leave it ‘til later, when it’s nice again. And when there is a break in the weather actually we ‘d rather be doing all those things at this time of year, which keep us so busy. However there is work to be done and important work too to prepare for both next year and deepest winter.
With all the leaves collecting in corners it’s a very good time to think about garden waste, in particular leaf mulch. If you have the space for leaf mulch whether it’s a custom built space or just a few dustbin bags in a corner of the garden, you can prepare a great compost with very little effort.
For my clients at Mow-N-Blow this is certainly a time of year we earn our name as we are blowing all those leaves into heaps so my clients can get back to forgetting about the garden and do their Christmas shopping!
Christian Dupont has been involved in horticulture for over two decades now, lives near Alton with his wife. She is also a fully trained gardener and horticulturalist. Both are keen photographers as well as accomplished Horticulturalists. some articles are from the Life Mags but mainly for the Herald newspaper, bi-weekly column in the local business