These are the months when the whole garden goes to sleep – or appears to!
TRIMMING PERENNIALS BACK
I strongly believe that the leaves of perennials should stay on the plant for as long as possible to provide cover for those smaller creatures that need shelter during the worst winter weather. But there does come a time when plants just look too unsightly. When leaf stems topple over and the border begins to look like one big soggy brown mess. This is when I start to remove the dead tops. By the end of December I have removed the tops of Peonies, Hardy Geraniums & Cirsiums. I will cut back the dead wood on the Intersectional Hybrids during January.
PERENNIALS TO PLANT
It is never too late to plant perennials and some are best planted now. Among these are bare-rooted peonies, which produce lots of new roots during the winter.
I have also added to my collection of bergenias, which have lovely evergreen winter foliage. Other perennials that keep some leaves over winter are:
As many garden plants have now died right back now is the time to week out the hidden and unwanted perennial weed that nestle the tight mounds of weeds. These include grasses and nettles.
PREPARING FOR THE COMING MONTHS
This is one of the few times that I can sit and think about (and sketch out) what I want to do next year with that bit of garden that didn’t work, and the new patch we are moving into. It’s a great time to browse websites for inspiration and new plants!
by Claire Austin
Posted on 26/12/2011