Your Handy Garden Calendar An Annual Handy Gardening Activities Calendar for All the Months of the Year
This book is a handy guide book for all those people, who already have a garden, and have lots and lots of plants growing in them. Not only are you going to get common sense tips, on how you can spend the whole month, doing the activities which need to be done in the garden, since time immemorial, but this is divided into 12 sections, so all you have to do is go up to the month, and see whether you have done some gardening activities required for keeping your garden plants healthy and happy
You are going to say that you are an experienced gardener, and you know how to take good care of your plants, especially as you have been taking care of them, all these years, in your particular locality, and area, and what do you need a gardening guide for. According to you, half of the activities which I am going to write down here may not be applicable to you.
Remember, that this guide is a general guide, for what is normally done in one particular month, even though that particular activity may not pertain to you, especially if you do not have ferns growing in your garden or possibly, you are living in an area which is not knee-deep in snow in January. Or possibly if you are living Down under. That means you are going to be having high summer in December and snow in June. So under such circumstances, you are going to look under the activities done during the global winter seasons, – November, December, January, February, and March and apply them to your own garden as the case may be.
Nevertheless, I am taking it for granted that you are living in a land where the seasons have their run of the mill normal characteristics, snow in January, February, and March, Spring in April, summer in May, high summer in June and July, rainy season, in August, beginning of the autumn in September and October, and then winter again, in November and December.
You may also say that in your particular corner, chrysanthemums do not bloom in January, because of the hard frost, but January is the time when chrysanthemums bloom in many parts of the world. So like I said, look at the tips, which are suitable for your garden, and apply them, taking it for granted, that once a gardener, always a gardener and you have to go out in the snow!
This is a time you have to be really careful about the amount of water that you give to the plants. Too much water means that you are going to be killing them with kindness and cold. Now is the time when they need as much sun as they can get, especially when in many parts of the world, the sun may not have shown its face to you for more than a week and it is cold and blustery outside. So you may want to put your plants outside, where they can catch a little bit of the sun, if they are lucky.
If you have succulents, like Echeveria, aloe, Agave, Cereus, Whipthong Cereus, Sedums-three leaved Stonecrop – and Sempervivums, these all need just a little bit of water and it is much better to keep them dry, instead of water logging them in the winter. Succulents do not like too much water, because basically they are desert plants.
Christmas roses, snowdrops, and crocuses are making their appearance. One of the nicest memories I have is a huge large area, barren land totally white, and bleak, with unexpected and really pretty patches of crocuses, daffodils, and narcissus. All of us went to see our crocuses and snowdrops blooming in the snow, just for fun and well, if they could enjoy the cold weather, we were not to be held back. And we dug them up, brought them home, and planted them in our pots to gladden a wintry atmosphere.
If you belong to a cold area, it is possible that you are growing hyacinths under glass. These were potted last September – October, and they are going to be showing their own colors. Now is the time when all your chrysanthemums are showing all their glorious colors.
Marigolds are also going to be showing their own glory.
Now let us come to the ferns – if you have ferns growing outside, lucky you, you just need to make sure that you do not overwater them. If Selaginella and fern plants are being grown under glass or in closed glass cases, you just need to see that they are just a little moist.
Exhibition time in our city means January and February – our city having a reputation of being full of avid and rabid gardeners – all the gardeners come out with their own flower arrangements and creations, once a year. On the following page is a canoe made of marigolds, and other flowers and foliage with a chrysanthemum pyramid base in the background!
A large number of the gardening activities which are going to be done in February are the same as the ones you do in January. You can start planting some Fuchsia cuttings, in your pots. This is the time, when you can sow a few hardy and half hardy annual flower seeds. You can either sow the seeds in pots, or in sheltered positions, under southern facing walls, or along a border, which is sunny.
The seeds, which you have sown outdoors are going to need a little bit of protection, especially if the weather turns cold at night. You are going to cover them with a light covering, perhaps a mat or just a light covering of mulch or litter, or straw. You need to remember, if there has been a frost, during the night, and the next day is full of bright sunlight, your plants are going to suffer. That is because they have been under harsh freezing conditions, and now they are being boiled! Extremes of temperature do not do you any good. They do not do anything beneficial to your plants either!
If your plants have been frozen by any chance, just “acclimatize” them by syringing them with a little bit of Cold water, and then make sure that they are not placed in any sort of bright sunshine or winter sunlight.
Apart from January flowers like hyacinths, narcissus, and crocuses, you are going to get primroses, arabis, and aconite flowers blooming now. This is the time to sow seeds of mignonette, stocks, amaranthus, and Perilla. Also plant climbers like convolvulus, Momordica, Phaseolus, Thunbergia, Cobcea scandens, Tricosanthes, and Maurandia, which are going to be the splendor of your balconies, windowsills, and trellises in the summer. Cyclamen seeds can be sown in pots now.
February is one of the finest times for lots of flowers, including camellias, tea roses, orchids, ferns, cyclamens, violets, narcissus, Amazon Lilies, orange blossoms, geraniums, snowdrops, Chinese primroses, lilacs, crocuses, lilies of the valley, sweetbay, and mignonette along with hyacinths, and tulips…Oh my!
In our Capital, we have some historical gardens in what is now called the President’s Estate, going back to historical times. For three days every year, they are thrown open to the general public, totally free of charge, with more than 900,000 visitors from all over the country and abroad visiting them to see what real flowers, landscaping, topiary, and gardening looks like, in a cramped land/city full of pollution and possibly devoid of greenery!
These exhibition days in February/March are the highlights of professional horticultural pride and it is amazing to see, that not one flower is plucked, even by children. We just wander through 154 ha – about 3.80 acres - of different colors, species going totally woozy due to sensory overload!
In fact, this was somewhere in the 90s, and I was visiting the city on an official tour during this exhibition time when my mother told me to go, visit the gardens, while I was there and it was “on.” I wanted to put my feet up and rest, but was overruled.
When I came back, totally exhausted, about four hours later – I had just decided to go in, take a quick look, and then get back home ASAP – she said I was totally drunk on colors and scent and the beauty of flowers, most of which I had never seen before. And that rendered me speechless for the rest of the evening, and night, to her great amusement!
This happens! Especially in February and March, Polyanthus,Bouvardias, Cytisus Hepaticas… And all in one place. along with orange blossoms and roses growing all over the arbors and trellises…
This is a time when a large number of half hardy and hardy perennials, annuals, and herbs are propagated, all over the world, from seeds, that is because in many parts of the world, it is already the coming of the spring, and the frosts have begun to disappear. That is why these seeds are going to be sown in your pots, or if you want to take a chance, you can just sow them on your borders, where you can get some nice March sun.
The seeds, which you are going to sow now are going to be ready for planting, as seedlings outside, in window boxes, or if you want, in balconies or on terraces. That means you are going to have plenty of flowers all through late spring and summer.
Begin sowing the seeds, in small containers or pots, right now. I use empty egg trays because they already have containers ready-made in them.
Mignonette, Larkspurs, Balsams, Zinnias, marigolds, sweet peas, asters, and German stocks are going to be sown now. If you have a hotbed, with a couple of light frames on it, it is going to come in useful, because you can raise seedlings now, and also grow plants during the summer season.
This gardening calendar has given you plenty of information on what grows when, and how you can use particular months for planting, sowing seeds, and taking care of other gardening activities. You are going to wonder why I just concentrated on window boxes, and potted plants and did not talk about gardens outdoors.
But as I have already said in this book, there are many plants which are as happy growing indoors as well as outdoors, so if they are not in your window boxes, and you have plenty of wide open space outside, please do plant them outside.
However, as the majority of us are city dwellers, living in pigeonholes up there 20 stories high and trying our level best to soften that harsh city landscape and Vista, before us, when we look out of our windows – in our particular city, we have managed to stop that from happening, because the city’s designers and architects made certain that no house or building was to be above two stories in height – absolutely no skyscrapers, this was the city of gracious living – and every house had to have a given area upon which construction could not be made, and which had to be turned into a garden- so gardens and window boxes are very much a part of our lives.
So if for centuries, window boxes have been used to create things of beauty and joy forever, in houses – they were there in ancient Rome, where the ladies cultivated herbs for their kitchen, and they are going to be there long after we are gone and forgotten.
Live in abundant bloom, Live Long and Prosper!