Saturday, 10 December 2016

Greenhouse &Garden Ramblings in December

 Birdseed wreath

Yikes! The whole country seems to be having a snow storm or in the midst of a deep freeze this December. Our typically mild and rainy island winter is looking like it may even stay white till Christmas! Eek!.. and Ugh!

So, what's a gardener to do in wintry times such as this?

Poseidon rose

In the yard... 

Cut back roses this month to prevent breakage. Just take down some of the longer canes, but leave the actual pruning for shape and size till March.

Brush the heavy wet snow off of your tree form roses (standards) so that they do not snap from the weight.

Fruit trees can be pruned anytime between now and end February, while they are dormant.

Spray roses and fruit trees with a dormant oil/lime sulphur mix to kill off over-wintering pests and fungal diseases. This will cut back on the amount of black spot, rust, and powdery mildew you get on your roses, scab on fruit trees, plus kill scale, mites, aphids, leaf hoppers and white fly. Several applications during the dormant season is best. Pick up the horticultural oil/lime sulphur kit from any garden centre, please follow directions on the box.

Prune grapevines now. Perfect timing, too, as you can use the vines for wreath making or other yuletide crafting. 

Remove spent blossoms and yellowing leaves from geraniums

In the greenhouse... 

Water only when plants are dry, to prevent rot, mould and diseases. I am watering most plants once a week, and the citrus in large pots only get watered about once a month.

Remove any yellow or brown leaves from pelargoniums (aka geraniums) and other plants, as they quickly get mouldy, if left in place.

Herbal fire starters smell fantastic! 

Bits and Bobs of This and That...

Wondering what to do with your lemons and other citrus trees? Read my last post all about winterising citrus trees HERE!   

Do some wintry Christmas crafting...

Make birdseed wreaths to keep your feathered friends happy for the holidays. For the recipes, see HERE!

I made these lovely herbal fire starters using sweet bay laurel, lavender, rosemary, lemon scented geraniums, cinnamon sticks, orange peels, and a bits of kindling. Easy peasy fantastic fire starters that smell so wonderful.

I'm already working on my garden plans and colour schemes for spring

Journal - Start planning your gardens, making lists of your seed selections and colour schemes. I jot down ideas as they pop into my head, or when I see a fantastic picture that piques my interest. I may not use them all, and often change my mind as I go, but I love going through my journals and reviewing all the ideas.

Planning ahead saves you money, too, as you will already have a plan and know what you are looking for when you go shopping on line, or at the shops. Save even more by ordering with a group of friends, divide up the shipping cost and take advantage of bulk pricing.

Here are the seed companies that I order from most often for great organic, heirloom, open-pollinated seeds.

Canadian companies...
- The Cottage Gardener  (
- Heritage Harvest Seed (
- Hawthorn Farm Organic Seeds (

There are others that I will buy from now and again, such as Richters, Salt Spring Seeds, Terra Edibles, and Gardens North.

American companies...
- Renee's Garden Seeds (
- I used to order from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, however, they have hiked their out of country shipping fees so high, they are no longer an affordable option for us Canadians. Check them out if are in the US though.

Happy Yuletide Preparations! 

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