TheLeigh on Sea Horticultural Society



Welcome to my diary. I write a short account of the happenings in my garden every month. It is quite amazing how year on year the seasons change, which makes our weather so interesting - you can never predict what is going to be growing at any particular time.


Julia’s Diary


Yes I’m back, if you missed me!  Sorry but November and December were rather busy months and although I had a list of topics to mention I didn’t get round to writing about them.  The real Christmas tree has been dispatched to be recycled and the artificial one has been packed away for another year (I wonder what will happen to the spider that took up residence in it) so there is a bit more time for other things.

Christmas time can be a time for reflection and I have been thinking about family and friends who are no longer with us, and how I remember them partly by plant connections.  My father, a keen gardener loved chrysanthemums but did not like dahlias.  He won a Banksian medal in 1936.  I remember outside the back door, when I was little, was a bed full of Physalis whose lanterns I used to like to pop, and when I was in Leicester for my 21st. birthday he sent all my friends an orchid, probably, for most, the first they had ever seen.  My mother would not prepare leeks or celery, “dirty things”. Of course they did used to be grown in soot to blanch them, I wonder if she would like them now that you can buy them clean.  My auntie Lily brings back memories of cabbages, as a little girl it was my job to pick off the caterpillars, and my next door neighbour it is roses, she had very thorny ones which we helped weed amongst, and scarlet pimpernel which must never be weeded out or we were in real trouble!  This time last year another member of the family died, the previous October I gave her a white, double Christmas cactus for her birthday and have been looking after it since she died.  See below how it flowered in time for her birthday last October. Also a photo of the presents waiting for the LHS Christmas party

So, now let’s look forward to this year.  My hyacinths are coming on nicely,  I have taken the cover off so they can get some light but they are still in a cold spot, hopefully they will not get too leggy and flop over.

At Christmas I was given a book about the Tresco Abbey Garden and with it a packet of seeds of Puya chilensis, I wonder how long it will take to “grow up to 2.5 metres with flowering spike”

I haven’t yet used the heater in the greenhouse this winter and all seems well.  When the pond freezes over I know I need to put it on but so far it has stayed ice-free.  I have left the banana plant to its own devices again, we’ll see if it survives another winter.

The plant catalogues are pouring through the letterbox, will I be tempted or wait and buy locally? Last year I intended to get some clematis to climb up the trellis of my new area behind the pond and get them settled in before winter so they would have a good start in the spring but somehow it didn’t happen, but which ones to choose? I would like them to give a display throughout the spring and summer, if I choose carefully maybe I can achieve it.  Happy gardening in 2018    Julia

Presents for Christmas party

Christmas Cactus