It’s raining which is unusual in Spain hence the heading above reflects my activity in the garden today – it’s a bit like the Twilight Zone but without the spooky music.
28th April: Things I have been doing in the garden today.
🐕 Labradors grazing on Mulberries: OK let’s get it out the way; I knew if I introduced those dogs to my gardening blog they would just upstage me and the plants. The picture below shows Nero (black) and Tango (golden) grazing on Mulberries under our large Mulberry tree. Both dogs look forward to Mulberry time and assiduously harvest all the berries that the birds knock down. All that I get out of it is the pleasure of picking up red dog pooh!
👍 Why gardeners should grow their thumbnails long: I am an exponent of gardeners growing their thumbnails long between between the months of March and September. When people notice this my wife tells them I am part of an Eastern religion a bit like the Hari Krishnas only with more hair and without the dancing bit. The real answer is you should grow your thumbnails long at this time of the year because they provide you with the perfect set of secateurs without having to go to the shed every time you see something that needs trimming or deadheading. Just trim things up by catching them between your thumb and fore finger.
🕷 Take cuttings from Spiderwort: Spiderwort is a lovely colourful Naya or veranda plant that I would never be without. It’s trailing stems and leaves hang over the edge of pots and give character to any sitting area. And the fact they are happy in semi shade makes them ideal for this situation. (See picture below).
To take cuttings from Spiderwort, just take one of the stems trailing over the pot, cut it with a sharp knife just below a leaf node (remember never secateurs or you will crush the stem) using your thumbnail (I had to get this in) pinch out all the leaves on the stem to just leave the top two. Dip the stem in hormone rooting liquid – don’t worry if you don’t have this it will still be OK. Then use your dibber to make a small hole in the compost of a 4 inch pot and stick it in. It is as easy as that.
🌿 Tying in Jasmine: I know this sound like something from Fifty Shades of Grey but I promise you it is more innocent. If you have Jasmine, and we all love the smell, then it will by now be growing in tendrils longer than the snakes on Medusa’s head. Now is the ideal time to train them to where you want them to go rather than letting them boss you around. The picture below shows some Jasmine that I am just about to train over a gate arch. Ideally you should leave the tendrils till they’re long and whippy (I have invented a new gardening term – oh no! It’s Fifty Shades again). This is the ideal state for bending and weaving them. If you leave it much longer they become woody and snap when you try to bend them. Once you have finished bending and shaping them, cut off any growth that is growing straight up or down from the stems and this will give you a nice clean line and shape.