After that lovely mild Autumn here we are in Winter. It’s looking a lot like a proper Winter
unless we get to the middle of next week and it goes back to the sort of Winter we had last
year, wet to the point of floods. Still, it’s put paid to all the suggestions of what to do in the
garden for the next few days. It now boils down to ‘don’t’. Keep off the grass, don’t dig
frost into the soil. It will do the soil no good and will definitely annoy your mates the
worms. Best thing is a bit of retail therapy. If you have received bare root plants mail
order they will probably come packed in a plastic bag inside a paper bag. Normally the
instructions would be to unpack and heel in outside if you can’t plant immediately. You
can’t just now so it may be on the instructions but I have found that if you get some water
into the plastic bag to keep the roots dry, the plant can stay that way frost-free and in the
dark for several days as long as you keep an eye on them. If you have to keep them
longer then either put them in a big pot with compost to cover the roots or put compost
over the roots in the bag. The next ‘don’t’ is don’t forget them! Easier retail therapy is to
check out the sheds and garden centres for seasonal plants such as cyclamen,
poinsettias, pots of forced lily of the valley (nice table decoration as they will flower in the
warmth) but make sure they have been kept indoors as all of them may well succumb to
I won’t finish with my usual as weeding is usually a step on the border job or even if close
to a path it will be really unpleasant.