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  • Writer's pictureThe Blooming Old Gardener

Christmas in their heart

“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.” — Roy L. Smith

I love Christmas. Not necessarily the day itself, but the time leading up to it. Everyone seems to be nicer and there are so many things to do. And not just shopping. There has been a bit of garden activity too. Some to help the garden recover from the strong winds and some to prepare the garden for Christmas.

We had a Christmas tree appear in the garden, thanks to Andrea of B 4 Biodiversity and funding from the Runcorn Towns Fund. Then Andrea ran a couple of decoration making sessions at Halton Library, opposite the Bloomers Garden. So we had fun making brightly coloured pompoms and hanging decorations. Then we rubbed fat into pine cones and pressed bird seed into it to make bird feeders.

We decided to try and keep our tree decorating as natural as possible. Last Sunday we decorated the tree and garden with what we had made. And used evergreen branches to decorate the tree and garden. It was lovely to have a get together. The mulled wine and orange juice really helped keep us warm too.

We have just had the equinox, marking the shortest day. The garden is going to sleep for the winter. We have been pruning the trees and shrubs a bit, along with a bit of cutting back and weeding. The veg garden is developing a few brassicas and a winter lettuce. The herbs in the raised beds are still great to pick too. So help yourself if you need some for your Christmas stuffing.

Talking of things going to sleep. Some of the wildlife is sleeping in the garden now too. Creatures are sleeping in rooms in Bugingham Palace, as well as under containers and in leafy corners. Butterflies and moths will be sheltering from the cold in their various forms. So look out for eggs, caterpillars and chrysalis well as butterfly wings. Ladybirds hibernate too, particularly in ivy and cracks. So look out for them in our ivy covered wall area. But don’t wake them up.

At home, I have covered up a lot of my plants to over winter them. And I’ve started feeding and watering the birds again. This is a thank you for all the unwanted creatures like slugs and green fly that they have eaten for me during the growing season.

I’m leaving water out for other creatures too. I do this at home, but we don’t feed creatures in the Bloomers garden normally. It attracts rats and we are very near a busy road, which could be dangerous for hedgehogs. I’ve created piles of cuttings and compost in corners of my garden for any hedgehogs that might need to visit. I leave hedgehog food out for them too. I get this from the local pet shop in Regent Street- Runcorn Pet Shop. Very handy. And rumour has it that Santa is bringing me a hedgehog house this year….

Happy Christmas and lots of New Year wishes from

The Blooming Old Gardener

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