Weekend Work: Time to cut the Christmas rose
Saturday 11 December 2010
What to do
The Christmas rose (Helleborus niger) is not tender, but the white flowers are easily spoilt by heavy rain splashing mud onto the petals. Either cut the flowers and bring them inside or cover the whole plant with a cloche.
Tender herbaceous perennials can be protected from frost with humps of chicken wire, stuffed with dry leaves, straw or bracken. Tender wall shrubs and climbers may need a similar shield.
Continue to prune bush and standard roses. Standards should not be pruned too severely, or else the bush will produce over-vigorous shoots which will spoil the shape of the head. Remove dead or diseased wood first, then cut back the growth made this season as much as is necessary to maintain a well-balanced head. Make the cut next to an outward or upward facing bud so that new growth will start off in the right direction.
What to buy
Christmas gift ideas: fingerless mittens, £30, cathkidston.com; an upright rosemary, planted in a bucket and decorated with birch bark baubles, £27, plants4presents.co.uk; general purpose garden scissors with rubbery handles, £19, niwaki.com; candle lanterns, £9, coxandcox.co.uk; grape hyacinths in a 16cm bowl, £14.99, suttons.co.uk/ christmas; woven wire planter, £50, thebalconygardener.com
Life & Style blogs
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
- 1 Isis 'jihadi bride' claims forced sex with Yazidi girls is never rape because Koran condones it
- 2 Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
- 3 Art Garfunkel: Paul Simon is a 'monster' with a Napoleon complex
- 4 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...