Tuesday 12 January 2021
Today was much of the same as yesterday. This time year, the jobs are quite limited, as a lot of the plants are dormant and growing at a snail’s pace.
I started by weeding a small winter bedding display full of Erysimum. It didn’t take long and after giving it a little cultivate, we were done. We noticed that soil was very soft, which is a rarity in a usually busy area, where beds tend to get a pummelling from heavy footfall. I believe this soil has a better structure than some more compacted beds because it is so narrow, making it a rare site where all work can be done from the concrete surrounding it.
After that, I worked on a bed on the second level. This was filled with herbaceous perennials like Euphorbia characias and our trusty friend the Anemone x hybrida. There was also a beautiful magnolia tree, bare of its leaves, but boasting beautiful furry buds, ready to spring open in a few months. This bed had a smattering of weeds, both annual and perennial, which were easy enough to hoe off or dig out, respectively.
We started by cutting back the euphorbias, as they were looking scraggly and were due a cut in autumn! We were careful when cutting these, as the photosensitive toxic sap is not something you want to be getting in your eyes, or anywhere on your face for that matter! Then, I moved onto the anemones, cutting back the dead growth, leaving the healthy green leaves to protect the new growth emerging in time for spring.
I then swept up the fallen magnolia leaves, any hoed-off weeds before giving the bed a good cultivate. This bed was in need of some work, and the job is far from over, even now. I always find that little and often is the best approach in gardening, so you catch the small weeds before they become an impenetrable jungle you have to hack through with a machete.
Tomorrow is our study-from-home-college day, which I’m quite excited about. While I love my early mornings and cycling into work while the city is still drowsily opening its eyes, I do appreciate a few extra minutes of sleep and the privilege of staying at home in COVID times.