Gardening week - Cyclamen is back in bloom

PUBLISHED: 10:35 12 January 2006 | UPDATED: 20:09 28 May 2010

Cyclamen

Cyclamen

UGH! The soil stuck to my boots as I tried a sample spadeful in the border at the weekend. It wasn't much better when I tried a few careful steps on the lawn. We've had so much rain over the past week, after the snow, that the best advice is, Keep of the

UGH! The soil stuck to my boots as I tried a sample spadeful in the border at the weekend.It wasn't much better when I tried a few careful steps on the lawn. We've had so much rain over the past week, after the snow, that the best advice is, Keep of the Grass, and Keep off the Soil.Otherwise, all you will achieve is to compact the soil into solid lumps, which will make it twice as hard to dig when the weather dries out a bit, and squash the grass down into the mud.So, that takes us back to my favourite place, the potting shed. The other day I discovered that one of the dwarf cyclamen plants which I had taken down to the greenhouse after it had finished flowering indoors had begun sprouting lots of new buds.So I re-potted it with some fresh multi-purpose peat, gave it a watering and feed, took it back indoors, and now, hey presto, there are a host of gorgeous magenta blooms to brighten the room up.I have to admit I gave in to temptation a couple of days ago and bought some cut daffodils. It will be only a month before my own garden daffs are in flower. February Gold are the earliest of the lot, and whether you plant them in clumps in beds or naturalise them in the lawn they bring real cheer to the garden.I have started to clean and sterilise my flower pots and seed trays ready for the new growing season. I mix up a strong solution of Jeyes Fluid, and after doing the pots use it to wash down the inside of the greenhouse glass, swab the benches and spray on the floor.It is a very smelly job, and you will find it very difficult to stop reeking of the stuff for a couple of days, so do wear rubber gloves when using it.But it keeps every little nasty at bay, though for some reason the ants nest at the side of the central path has resisted all efforts to eradicate it pesky white fly as they home in on my tomato plants.Down in the potting shed I have been going through some of the new season seed catalogues. Several new varieties of plants I grow each year in the greenhouse have caught my eye, and I will be ordering some of them.I rather fancy trying a different variety of chillie, although our experience last year of growing the habanero variety showed that when the packet says it is very hot, it means it. Despite hybrid varieties of capsicum (sweet pepper) being specially developed for our climate, the best crop I have had in the greenhouse came from a packet of seeds I bought at a street market in Spain. But I shall persevere, and since later next month is a good time to start sowing the seed I must visit our local garden centre soon. See you there, perhaps.

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