Wreath making, Drainage, Air, Light & Hibernation
There’s nothing quite like the advent of December to demand that we direct our attention to wreath making. Each year, here at The Garden Gate, we hold a day long workshop around the start of the month, intended to foster the art and craft of encapsulating nature's bounty in a ring or alternatively shaped hanging decoration to adorn the doors, windows and walls of Thanet. If you're unable to join us, then simply acquire a frame (or make your own from old wire coat-hangers), pack it with sphagnum moss and adorn it with your choice of anything attractive from dried Hydrangea mop heads and sunflowers to the evergreen leaves and berries of holly and ivy. Finally, brighten it up with dried fruit slices that have been left to dry out on a radiator or in a warm airing cupboard, the bright red and orange of rose hips, Pyracantha firethorn berries, or the orange Chinese lanterns of Physalis. Then simply hang it in the right place to spread season’s greetings.
With winter rainfall seeming to increase with each passing year, it's important to shift water that gathers around the garden. If need be, dig out channels in the ground to add pipe and gravel drainage runs beneath low lying lawn and flower bed areas to carry the water away. Continue to keep leaf debris and other detritus off of any spring flowering bulbs, pansies, winter daisies, wallflowers and sweet Williams. It’s always important to enable the air and light to circulate across lawns, in the soil and around plant roots and stems in beds.
If you haven’t already, then seize the moment to install an insect/bug hotel for any late to sleep hibernating butterflies, moths, and other creatures essential to the biosphere, to take advantage of. The Broadstairs Town Shed in St Peter’s is the ideal place to pop in and acquire one or even set about making your own from the wood and any other materials of your choice. And finally, remember our prickly friend the humble hedgehog is probably soundly curled up in a warm, dry heap somewhere, so try not to disturb!
Hearty celeriac coleslaw is the ideal recipe to make the most of the winter vegetable patch.
1 head celeriac, ends trimmed and peeled
2 carrots, peeled
2 or 3 mooli/winter radish, ends trimmed
4 spring onions, finely sliced
Large handful of chopped fresh coriander (leaves and stalks)
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and pepper
Thinly slice the celeriac, carrots and mooli. Then chop into matchsticks. Toss in the lemon juice to stop the celeriac from discolouring.
Combine mayonnaise, mustard, honey, salt and pepper. Mix until fully blended.
Add the celeriac, carrot, spring onions and coriander to the mayonnaise, mix and toss well.