The finishing post is once more in sight, another year flown away, a different mash of the same ingredients. Not a bad year overall, there were certainly plenty of leaves and those that are falling are making for a bumper compost heap and the winter greens look promising. The wet has been a bit tiresome over the last weeks and access to the ground has been greatly compromised. You have had to snatch your moments if you have wanted to turn the ground, plant anything or squeeze in a late run over with the lawn mower. If you have managed a last cut, then you have probably spotted the moss, which is thriving and laying claim to many a lawn. If we do get a break in the wet weather and you fancy some exercise, a bit of aeration with a fork is worth the trouble (even now). Just assisting the movement of air and water through the ground may reduce the carpet spread of moss. There are bargains to be had in the bulb and bedding departments of many centres. Having had an unkind month and with a focus on Christmas, there is stock clearance going on. If you do pick up a few bits then try them in pots and in sheltered spots they will come good.
This month is normally good for bare root plants and hedges can be planned and installed cheaply. There should be access to everything from Hawthorn and Privet to Beech and Maple. Consider carefully what you want to achieve to, then select more or less vigorous subjects to suit. Plants are usually offered in bundles as indeed are Raspberries which can also be planted now. If you want to sow a few seeds, they will need to be done undercover on a windowsill or in a cold greenhouse, but you will get results. Mustard, winter lettuce and mizuna will all pep up a salad and you can start onions from seed too. If the ground is ready you will still get away with Broad Beans.
And finally, when you are done with the labouring, seek out the catalogues. Nothing lifts the spirit more than the promise of new beginnings. Every year I comment on the diversity of nature’s palette and every year new plants arrive to expand the offering. What is more it can all be found online.
Happy Gardening and season’s greetings.