By Tony Murrell
Who said you couldn’t raise seedlings in winter outside in terra firma?
You can use soft drink bottles, cut off the spout and invert, securing the bottle into the soil leaving a gap, of course, for the plants to sprout. Or the traditional glass-bell shaped lid that you drop over top of the sewn patch. You need to protect using the cloche at night and in the later part of the morning.
Fry eggs first thing in the morning not your planted beauties. If you are planting Azaleas, Rhododendrons or camellias, be mindful that these plants at a young stage will be susceptible to thaw-burn in the later part of the morning if they are sited in the easterly aspect of your garden.
Either cover with cloth and remove once the sun is well and truly up or consider planting these beauties in another part of the garden. Remember that plants covered in snow or frosts that receive the first of the day’s sun can fry even at this time of the year.
Plant of the week
Potted colour. Polyanthus, Primulas and Pansies are the best plants to brighten up drab dull days at home in the garden or conservatory. I have recently planted a collection of terracotta pots with block colours of all three variates. They look superb; I added dried blood to boost colour and flowering too.
Garden design tip of the week
Did you know that you can create a nice level playing filed so to speak when it comes to linking outdoor paving to your interior thanks to some very clever technology. Pavers can now be laid on “chairs” that allow you to take paving right to the door without having to step down. Your local paving and tile supplier can tell you more.