Well, it's turning out to be a rather strange, no change that to horrendous month worldwide. With the sudden rise of Coronavirus (Covid-19) here in the UK the majority of the population has to self isolate. As a type 1 diabetic, I too have had to lock myself away from others. Luckily for me, this means spending more time in my own garden. This month I provide even more tips and tricks for gardening during the Coronavirus. So come on let's get cracking!

It’s really worrying times worldwide with the Corona outbreak but as gardeners, we know all too well that there’s plenty of tonics to be found in our gardens. This month I’m concentrating on a number of gardening activities that any gardeners, no matter how experienced can join in with.

So if you’re stuck at home wondering what to do to pass the time why not join me as we made our gardens awesome. You don’t need to visit a shop to do these mindful tasks so it is win-win!

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Planting Bulbs in the Green

This month I’ve been planting over 500 bulbs in the green which I ordered online. There’s a heap of benefits of planting them in this unusual style. The main benefit being that you can choose exactly where they will go and visually see how their foliage will work in existing borders. The secondary benefit is that tricky bulbs like Snowdrops and Bluebells, which can take a few years to establish take off far quicker when planted in the green.

A handful of green snowdrops

Trees for Small gardens

I’ve also planted an Amelanchier tree (Snowy Mespulis or Juneberry) this month at home. It was a belated birthday present and arrived root balled, meaning the roots are wrapped in hessian and wire to be planted directly into the ground. Rootball trees and shrubs are significantly larger than container-grown plants. This is because they have been established in the ground where they can really spread their roots and uptake nutrients easily. You can order these again online or from nurseries and in my experience you get far more tree for your money this way. Not to mention healthier specimens that don’t run the risk of being root-bound.

Planting a root balled tree

I’ve planted this near the two new Malus transitoria that I also planted – this time as bare roots (slightly different) in February. I think I’m going to call this the Blossom border as both of these trees have spectacular spring blossom and fruits. They then both lead through the summer with gorgeous foliage before turning firey Autumn colours. Not that I’m wishing the year away but having my own little part of New England Fall colours will be wonderful.

Amelanchier unfurling leaves

It’s always worthwhile doing your research on small trees for the garden. If you simply buy whatever’s in the garden centre you’re going to be going off how it looks right now. Ideally, look at the months where your garden needs a pick me up or colours you really want. The do your research online first. Also, don’t be afraid of a bit of height in the garden. Whilst dwarf trees are nice in pots the odd larger specimen really does add a wow factor to even the smallest gardens. Don’t be put off!

Quince Tree Pruning

You may remember in January I pruned the Quince trees before the winter was over. This was to help shape them before spring. They’re starting to bud now and I can really appreciate how their new shape will take form.

Yellow Quince Fruits

You can still prune your fruits trees now, better late than never so have a look at my guide here on how to do that. More updates on the Quinces next month!

Hedge Growing Update

Remember when I first moved to Garden Ninja HQ and I single-handedly fitted 80m of hedge? Well, it’s really come on leaps and bounds in 3 years. From being tiny little plants to a bushy, glossy, rich evergreen hedge. I used Griselinia as I’m on an exposed site and it can tolerate winds and drought. It’s a glossy lime green colour and really helps add protection to the garden and blur the boundary with the horizon.

If you’re thinking of planting a hedge here’s my original guide to help. Always speak to your neighbour and choose hedge plants that best suit your soil type, garden aspect and maintenance levels. Some evergreens are less fuss as you may not need to prune them as much if left informal. Formal tightly clipped hedges may take more work. Hawthorn hedging can be a particular pain at times both growing erratically and a nightmare to pick up the clippings. So please do your research first!

Wedding and lots of it

During Corona, I’ve been throwing myself into weeding at every opportunity I’ve got. I actually quite like an hour or so of weeding every day. I find it really mindful and quite therapeutic. if you’ve recently planted new borders you may find yourself inundated with weeds. This is usually because their seeds which can lie dormant have been awoken! Whilst your new plants fill out and establish try and keep on top of them which eventually will lead to a reduction in weeds. I avoid weed membrane as I find it stifles the soil and weeds just grow on top.

Garden Ninja weeding a garden

My prefered tool for weeding is always the hori-hori which works wonders on deep tap-rooted perennial weeds and annual weeds alike.

Summary

During this difficult time, we have the opportunity to look inwards rather than outwards, especially if self-isolating. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden why not embrace this time to fully engage with it? The additional time you get in your garden will not only make you a much more intuitive gardener but enable you to take stock of just how wonderful mother nature really is.

Barry the border terrier in a security vest

If you have questions or comments on what to do in your own garden why not drop a comment below or ask me on social media?

 You can Tweet, Facebook or Instagram me. You can also follow me on Youtube where I’ve got plenty of garden guide vlogs! Happy Gardening!

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