24 August, 2019

Jan/Feb 2013

Jonathan’s choice flower of the month – the rose, selected because the winter months are the time to plant bare-rooted plants.

Rose Deep Secret.

Deep Secret

Deep Secret



We often think about red roses around Valentine’s Day.

Why not plant a variety such as Deep Secret in the garden.

It will provide you with heavily scented red blooms through the summer months and has good disease resistance. It also makes an ideal cut flower for the house.

Planting Season; November – March.

Flowering Season; May – October.

Jonathan Piercy



 Veg and Fruit in winter.

Sorry this is a bit late but I seem to have slipped into my usual low winter gear as you might yourselves have done. The ability of a human to work during the winter is about as successful as that of a vegetable.

Even at this time of year, though, it is still important not to forget vegetables that are in the ground, jobs that need doing in the winter are just as important as any requiring attention during the growing season. Often more so, in fact.

One of the most important is protection against the cold.



I know we don’t usually give more than a passing thought but it really can be vital if good results are to be achieved.

Although the majority of vegetables whose period of use is in the winter are usually tough enough to shrug off the cold, except under rare circumstances, there are a few that can always do with a bit of help.

In my case, I allowed some autumn cauliflowers to get on with it instead of giving them some protection. Normally, they would have been fine but the cold snaps we had before Christmas ruined some of the caulis that were a bit slow in sizing up.

One of the simplest precautions is to snap off a few of the oldest leaves from low down on the stem and lay then over the immature curds. This will keep off most of the frosts before Christmas.

More ‘professional’ treatment, and for after Christmas, is to spread fleece over the rows; and this applies to many plants, both overwintering vegetables and ornamentals. Cloches of any sort will work equally well. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the autumn sown broad beans will be all right as they could have done with fleece as well.

True winter cabbages, such as the old Christmas Drumhead and January King, are perfectly hardy, which is why I make a point of sticking to these. You can’t take chances in North Yorkshire!



Root vegetables, such as parsnips and Jerusalem artichokes, are always easier to lift if the ground they are in is covered with straw or garden compost, which can be dug in after the vegetables.

The alternative is to lift some or all of them and store them in clamps or dry and in bags.

On the fruit side of things, the vast majority of tree and bush fruits are as tough as old boots. The main exception is figs. A long, hard winter will often kill these to the ground. As happened to our’s a couple of years ago.

Peaches, nectarines and apricots and fully winter hardy but, if they start growing too early in the spring and the young growth is frosted, it usually puts paid to the crop for that year. Again, this is where fleece is useful.

Peter Blackburne-Maze


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