Monday 7 January 2013

Cutting back the foliage of hellebores and ferns

Monday 7th January
Weather: 7°C - 8°C. Grey & drizzly. It made greenhouses inside feel humid.

Hellebore buds poking through

Most of the day was spent cutting back the foliage of Hellebore orientalis and herbaceous ferns all around the garden, right down to the surface or stump to help give space and light for bulbs coming through like hyacinths and snowdrops. We take advantage whilst dealing with these to feed it with bonemeal and give it a good mulch of mushroom compost. It is amazing what is poking through already even under canopies of dead leaves.

Snowdrops poking through
Over the weekend I discovered that some of the succulents had rotted a bit, and that an Aeonium had been attacked by vine weevil larvae - they are like little maggots with a white body and a yellowish head. The larvae bored right into the stem, making what it had chomped through a fine brown crumb. They usually attack the roots and have probably gone from there upwards. We cut back what was salvageable and squishing the larvae where we could. We will be putting the damage bits and the soil into Pen Stump where it will get burnt. As this is the first time I have taken on this house I will be going through each plant separately and checking that they are ok, so that I can start looking after them all from how I know them.

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