Monthly Archives: January 2022

January garden to do list.

January has been a pretty quiet month in the garden.  It has been cold and wet so far with a touch
of frost.  There a few things to be
sorted out before spring though, such as, moving the Rodgersia and the Royal
fern, as they are far too close to the walls now.  This isn’t good for the walls and it also means
that the plants are forced forward and tend to collapse on the plants in front
of them.

the corner by the ramp with rodgersia and royal fern
Ramp corner Rodgersia and Royal fern


 I would really like
the large Polygonatum multiflorum to be completely dug out.  It used to be on one side of the chimney by
the ramp, but it has spread to behind and around the other side of the chimney
and is now coming up in front of it too.
Also I have found the very beautiful, but very destructive Liliocerus
lilii (scarlet lily beetle) on it.  It
has had it’s leaves stripped by slugs, snails, saw flies and now this so I have
had enough.

scarlet lily beetle
Lilioceris lilii (scarlet lily beetle)

The front hedge has been rather poorly cut last year (sorry
Harry) and it is really needing a proper cut.
This will have to be done before the birds start nesting, although if I
was a bird I wouldn’t nest in it looking like that!

front hedge (privet) cut badly
Front privet hedge with bad cut.

Behind the garage we used to have 2 apple trees which have
now been re-homed to our good pals shared tenement garden.  The apples were tasty but were not keepers
and I am the only one who eats apples here.
Now I can choose what to do with that area.  That small border only has a few cyclamen in
it, but it only gets sunshine from the one side.  Maybe a clematis or honeysuckle would cope
with that area?

bed behind the garage
Behind the garage.

There are a few bulbs just popping up here and there, mostly
snowdrops, and some of the hellebores are flowering a bit.  There is still plenty of greenery in the
garden due to the many evergreen plants and shrubs so it doesn’t look
completely barren just now.  Roll on
spring for a bit more colour.

Easy spray bottles for use with arthritic hands.

I have found that over the years that spraying my plants makes my hands very sore.  The spray action of many spray bottles is exasperating.  Sometimes, just to get them going,you have do the spraying action over and over again and you only get a tiny squirt out if you are lucky.  Some bug sprays are just useless and won’t spray at all.  The tiny glass pump action spray bottle (at the front of the photo)  looks great but because of my swollen, sore, arthritic fingers I find that these can be a bit fiddly.  They are ok if you can stand, and have them at hip height, but when spraying from the seated position I find that I have to get my elbows really high which then  makes the pressing action difficult.   I do have an absolute favourite spray bottle make and that is the Hozelock  pump action type.

You just need to pump a little pressure into the bottle, then press the button (with thumb) when you want to spray.  If you want to keep on spraying, over a large plant say, there is another button to press just above it for continuous spraying. You can also adjust the spray by twisting the nozzle.  I have decanted some organic bug spray into a Hozelock bottle  as the original spray bottle was useless, but you do have to remember to label the bottle if doing that.  One gripe with the Hozelock ones are that there isn’t much grip on the side of the bottle so when it comes time to refill with water trying to twist the top off can be difficult if you have problems with your fingers.  Also, the level indicators could be a little more visible but at least they do have some.

I did buy an inferior type from Amazon (the bright green one at the front right of the photo) and it broke within a couple of months so,it really is worth getting a good make.   I have a couple of very large plants and a collection of air plants which I keep in the bedroom and they require a lot of spraying so I really do need an easy spray bottle for using with my arthritic hands.

selection of spray bottles
A selection of spray bottles for plants