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10 Nov 2016

Garden Lover's Diary - November 2016

Sarah Sandys-Renton
Garden Lover's Diary - November 2016

It’s not only wildlife hunting for food, it's a great time for you to forage for tasty treats too. The hedgerows are full of sloes and rosehips, chestnuts are dropping from the trees and mushrooms are popping up here there and everywhere.

As I write, the geese are setting off in their thousands to warmer climes. In contrast, I’m looking forward to hunkering down with a warm fire, frosty grasses in my garden and some of those foraged chestnuts lovingly roasted.

Book your seats

We’re pleased to let you know that the BBC Gardeners’ World Live Theatre timetable has been released and, if you’ve not done so already, you can now add seats to your booking to see Monty Don, Alan Titchmarsh, Carol Klein, Joe Swift or Adam Frost.

Your birds need YOU!

You can give the birds a helping hand with bird feeders and fat balls but, for a lifelong offering, please invest in bird-friendly plants as well. Blackbirds find red varieties of Rowan Berry simply irresistible; the berry-laden Cotoneaster is popular with thrushes and waxwings; and the Guelder rose produces glossy red berries loved by Mistle thrushes and bullfinches. The RSPB will be at the 2017 Show with more ideas for making your garden a wildlife haven.  

In season – Cranberries
Cranberries are a real favourite of mine. They’re perfect to grow in pots, even hanging baskets, so are great for small gardens, terraces and patios. Use ericaceous compost, water with rainwater and, above all, don’t let them dry out. Then it’s a waiting game as they fruit prolifically from their third year. Click for a video masterclass.  

If you can’t wait three years, pick up a punnet from the shop and get making this cracking cranberry sauce recipe!

Plant of the month – winter flowering Viburnum
My favourite, Viburnum tinus 'Gwenllian' (AGM), is the perfect winter shrub, with lush evergreen foliage that contrasts beautifully with the pale pink and white flowers which turn to metallic blue berries. It’s a great plant for autumn interest, filling the void where the summer colour once was. And it’s an all-rounder too, happy in sun or shade, in pots, a border, as a hedge or even topiary!

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