Horticulture and Handicraft

Spring is upon us and I, for one, am glad the dark days of January are behind us and the promise of Spring has arrived with the bulbs poking their green tips above ground. Where I live near Moreton there is one daffodil that emerges and erupts into bloom towards the end of January every year, so much earlier than the rest and it is a delight to behold. Early colour in a winter landscape!

My garden has been a little, no a lot neglected, over the winter, time has been short for various reasons. I have two weeks to knock into shape before heading to another wintry landscape in Alaska to visit my eldest daughter who is now living there. Interestingly with the lack of sunlight in the winter she has had success in growing plants hydroponically, more on that in a later edition.

The raised vegetable beds were dug over at the end of last growing season so my plan is to prepare them for sowing some vegetables. I’ll be giving them a thorough weeding, luckily not too much has sprouted up over the winter, a light dig again and I’ll add some well-rotted compost.

I don’t grow a lot of potatoes, whilst I love them we are lucky to have some excellent potato farmers all around us so are privileged to get a bag direct from source now and again. The whole family are partial to some pink fur apples though and so I will be popping a few in for that delicious salad potato. Now is the time to chit those early varieties in preparation for sowing.

Last year I had a good crop of rhubarb so it’s my intention to lift and divide my small patch to generate a few more clumps.  I’ll also be adding a good potash fertiliser around the base of my apple and plum trees with a good sprinkling at the base of the black and red currant bushes as well as the raspberries, loganberry and bramble bushes.  I’m undecided what to do with my goji berry bush, any ideas?  It’s grown prolifically each year but only produces a few berries and lots of woody greenery!  I’ve yet to decide to give it another chance or rip it out.

Once of my least pleasant jobs is tidying up the trays, pots etc I leave out wintered so I can turn them over and reduce the snail and slug numbers.

Lastly the greenhouse needs a bit of attention, so I’ll be washing down the glass panes and making sure its tidied out and ready to start planting when I return from the far North!

In my new role as Horticultural and Handicraft Secretary for the Newport Show, we are introducing a few changes to the Marquee this year and hope to have live demonstrations of floral art, handicrafts, as well as other ideas which should make the marquee well worth a visit. If you are keen to bake a cake or a pot of jam, or have a fine crop of red currants or strawberries, you can participate and win some cash prizes if the judge likes your produce.  I can send you a schedule which has a huge variety of classes for fruits, vegetables, baking, handicrafts, photography, floral art and of course the popular children’s classes.   Do get in touch if you have any questions Dihortsec@outlook.com.  We are keen to hear feedback as to what you might like on next year’s schedule so if you have some ideas, we look forward to hearing from you.

Finally can I pay tribute to June Tavernor who has been the Secretary for the last 26 years, she’s going to be a tough act to follow so I’m hoping for some support! Thanks, Diane

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