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BellaOnline's English Garden Editor

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September 22 2006 English Garden Newsletter


Welcome to the English Garden newsletter from Bellaonline.com

Autumn seems to be on its way here in Gloucestershire. The trees are just starting to get a tinge of yellow and orange. Autumn always makes me think of spring!

So if you haven't got your seed catalogues yet then send for them soon so you can plan for next year.
Think about perennials and annuals.
Lots of bright jewel-like flowers such as poppies, cornflowers, hollyhocks and Love-in-a-mist for instance.



It has very windy here for the past couple of days.
This has meant all those last plums that we couldn’t reach have fallen and the acorns and beech mast are littering the floor.
My pigs love plums and acorns – as do the goats. But it got me thinking about compost!

As the leaves start to fall it seems a shame to waste them and homemade leaf mould makes such a great compost for the garden.

You can make a small amount in a black plastic sack or a large amount in a compost heap depending on your circumstances.

So if you are busy sweeping up leaves look upon them as free excellent compost for your garden.

For small amounts of leaves
First you need some black plastic waste bin liners
Next make some small holes in the bottom of the bin liners – taking care you don’t make them too big (or cut yourself) – a small sharp object such as a knitting needle or skewer is fine.

Sweep up your leaves and pop them in your bag – you can do this over several days or weeks.
When the bag is full add three pints of water and allow it to drain through.
Pack the leaves down tightly and tie bag top Leave your bag/s in a corner somewhere out of the way for a year.
Make sure they are somewhere safe – not anywhere a friend/partner won’t think - oh rubbish - and put them out with the trash!
When you open them you will have an excellent mulch to put round your prize perennials. You can also use it to enrich your soil if you dig it in.
I much prefer to use it as a mulch one year and then it seeps into the soil without me having to dig it in!

If you can manage to leave your bags for two years the leaves will have rotted down so much that you will be able to use it as potting compost – not bad for free pickings!

Other leaf mould tips

You can add some grass cuttings to your leaves – add a good thick layer of leaves then a thin layer of grass cuttings then repeat twice.

If you have a shredder then you can shred the leaves before putting them in the bags – this will speed up the whole process.

Check out the English Garden site to find out which leaves are the best to use.

On another topic there is still time to plant daffodils and tulips for next year but really they should be planted in the next month or before the first frosts.
To get the best results buy as high-quality bulbs as you can afford, make sure they have no bruises or soft spots or mould on them.
They like a sunny spot and well drained soil.
Remember that daffodils should be planted with the pointed end up at least 6 inches deep and if you can 8 inches.
Don't forget to leave them room to grow and multiply so leave at least 3-5 inches between bulbs. They will flower year after year for you.

Here's the latest article from the English Garden site at BellaOnline.com.
Sweet Rocket
A traditional old English cottage garden favourite. http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art46100.asp

Why not test your little grey cells by doing an English Garden jigsaw puzzle? Or you could send a free English Garden postcard - postcards .

To participate in fun online discussions, this site has a bulletin board all about English Garden that you can visit here .

To participate in free, fun online discussions, this site has a community forum all about English Garden located here -
http://forums.bellaonline.com/postlist.php?Cat=0&Board=287

I hope to hear from you sometime soon, either in the forum or in response to this email message. I thrive on your feedback!
Have fun passing this message along to family and friends, because we all love free knowledge!

Hellie T., English Garden Editor

One of hundreds of sites at BellaOnline.com
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