The March/April Garden
By the time you read this the clocks will be changing to BST and we will be saying goodbye to long dark evenings. Daffodils should be putting on a good show, golden heads nodding in the gentle breeze….maybe I am dreaming.
Jobs to do
Check the lawn mower
Finish pruning the roses & clematis
Plant seeds – annual bedding plants
Have you moved into a house with a small pond in the garden? Don’t panic and fill it in, buy a sheet of Weldmesh from the builders merchants and lay it over the pond with about 1 foot of overlap all-round and fix down. It will carry the weight of a grown man. The mesh is about 4inch squares so plants can grow through and wildlife can use the pond.
Do you have an old unwanted white stone kitchen sink? Why not make it into an authentic looking stone trough and save yourself a lot of money. Real stone troughs cost upwards of £250.00. For instructions see the Society website www.farringdonhs.club.
Please post your pictures of garden successes – pets – wildlife on the website.
Instructions for Stone Trough
You will need the following :-
A large sheet of plastic 4ft x 4ft
A paint brush
Equal amounts of :- compost (containing some peat), sharp sand and cement about one shovel full of each
Water to mix
A pair of rubber gloves
3 bricks or a block of wood
- Stand the sink on the plastic sheet(18inches in from one end) on the bricks or block.
- Wash the sink thoroughly, particularly under the bottom rim and down inside for about 6inches. Allow this to dry completely.
- Paint all the washed surfaces with the PVA and leave until the glue becomes tacky.
- While you are waiting mix together the compost, sand and cement. Add the water gradually until it becomes a stiff “pudding” mixture. Too wet and it will slide off and too dry it will crumble.
- Wearing the rubber gloves slap handfuls of the mix onto the sink. The finish should look like rough stone, not too smooth. Leave to dry for at least 14 days.
In the case of wet weather you will need to cover the trough with another plastic sheet to allow it to dry.
Planting the trough
Move the trough to its permanent position. It will be very heavy but can be easily moved using sack trucks. Stand on three bricks, cover the drain hole with some fine mesh for drainage.
Cover the bottom of the trough with crocks or chopped up polystyrine to a depth of about 3inches. Fill the trough with the compost mixture (2 parts compost to 1 part horticultural grit)then plant. Chunks of stone (size of a small loaf) can be embedded into the soil before planting.
Ideal plants are :-
- Minature Dianthus (Pinks)
- Cyclimen corms
- Sempervivum (houseleaks)
- Sedum alpine
- Thyme serpyllum
- Saxifrage alpine
- Tiny tulips
- Tiny narcissus
Plants like Aubrietia are too rampent and will soon smother smaller plants.
Finally cover the surface with horticultural grit, taking care around the neck of each plant.
Hey Presto! A minature garden.