Back to the Nitty Gritty1st February 2017 • In The Garden • Stephanie Donaldson
Travels over for the moment, it is time to get on with sorting out the garden. When the weather is neither too cold nor too wet, I’ve started tidying the flower beds, removing the old plant supports and cutting back the dead stems on perennials. As I work, I am tucking up the newly tidied areas with a mulch of composted bark or Strulch depending on their preference – usually bark for woodland plants and Strulch for the borders. I do a small area at a time, so that if the weather changes I’m not leaving any plants exposed to frost damage. Sometimes I find a potential thug lurking in amongst much nicer plants – I was tidying a clump of Boltonia (pretty white flowered aster-like plant) and realised that arch-villain Carex pendula had sprung up in its midst. When I first moved here twenty years ago it was all over the garden, lifting paving slabs and throttling nicer plants. After all these years I still need to be vigilant as the seeds continue to germinate. Usually I catch them very young, but this was one that had got away – until now. Do not be seduced by the attractive evergreen foliage – it will take over the garden given half a chance.