Don’t forget your garden….
As you get busy with festive season celebrations, and many prepare to take holidays over the Christmas period, spare some thought for your garden. If you get really busy and ignore it, or you are going away, how will it cope without you? Do you have everything hooked into an automatic watering system or have you got lots of pots scattered all around the garden which require regular hand watering. Many people like hand watering and find it quite relaxing and therapeutic at the end of a busy day at work, usually with a glass or mug of something in their hand!? This is fine while you are around however if you are out and about with family get-togethers and celebrations or you are going away for a week, plants used to that regular TLC will quickly suffer.
Think about what you can do to protect them. Perhaps you can get a friend or neighbour to garden sit. Most of the garden should only need watering once or twice a week however pot plants can require watering daily when the weather is hot. To make it easier for someone else to look after your garden, you could group your pots together in a sheltered position to reduce water requirements and make watering easier. You could even sit pots in a saucer of water. This is not a practise that usually I recommend as many plants don’t like getting wet feet, however when it is just for a week over the warmer weather it is not likely to be a problem.
Don’t forget your garden guardians when you go away either. Just as you would make sure any pets are looked after in your absence, spare some thoughts for the beneficial creatures like birds, bees and butterflies. The flowers in your garden should provide food for them whether or not you are around, however it is water that is often lacking in urban locations. So make sure that you leave lots of bird baths and water bowls out and get your neighbour to refill them while you are away. Bowls of water which have landing platforms like rocks emerging from them allow the bees and butterflies to drink safely without drowning.
In preparation for the ongoing heat of summer you could also give your plants a treat with a seaweed-based plant tonic. This will help them keep them in optimal health and also help prevent heat stress.