November Gardening.

We’re bracing ourselves for winter, but there’s no time to hibernate! Daylight hours are short and it’s difficult to fit in every gardening task so wrap up warm and make the most of any dry weather. If you are planning on having a bonfire check carefully before they are lit for hibernating animals.
Year round interest and colour is a must in any garden, but it is the winter months that are the most challenging. The majority of plants are dormant through the winter months as a coping mechanism to dealing with low levels of sunlight, short days, cold soil and hard frosts. However there are some plants which do flower during the winter, and others create interest with berries or the colour of their stems. By placing these plants in key focal points around the garden you can have colour right through the winter. It’s highly unlikely you’ll be sitting out on your patio, or taking leisurely strolls around your garden during the winter months, you’ll probably find that the garden is viewed from your house windows instead. Take a look out of the windows or doors and make a note of any gaps in the garden, and where a spot of colour would be most enjoyed. Once you have an idea of which parts of the garden will be seen from the house and can be improved it’s just a case of finding the right plants.
The first group of plants to consider are evergreen shrubs. Variegated shrubs particularly draw the eye in low light levels, such as Hebe Variegata, Ilex (holly), and the vast array of Euonymus species. The eye-catching long lance shaped leaves of Phormium species (New Zealand Flax) may look exotic, but they can be left outside all year round in all but the harshest of winters. Evergreen perennials such as Heuchera, Bergenia, Ajuga and Euphorbia will all create interest in a winter garden, as will evergreen grasses such as stipa tenuissima, Festuca, and Luzula. Evergreen ferns will brighten up shaded locations some species to try are Cyrtomium Fortunei, Polystichum and Asplenium (Harts Tongue).
Plants with berries come in all shapes and sizes, Gaultheria is a dwarf shrub that’s ideal for growing in pots of acid soil (ericaceous), Symphoricarpus (snowberries) will loose their leaves but the large, fleshy berries are retained well into winter. Callicarpa ‘Profusion’ (beauty bush) its grown for its shiny purple berries. Cotoneaster should be carefully considered before planting as it can be invasive.
If you are looking for a climbing plant then Clematis cirrhosa var. purpurascens ‘Freckles’ flowers from November until late February. For a scented climber try Lonicera fragrantissima.
Some plants are grown purely for winter fragrance including Sweet box, Viburnum x bodnantense, Witch Hazel and Mahonia. The final group of plants to consider for the winter garden are those with colourful stems/ bark such as Cornus (Dogwoods), Salix and Birch.
Top Tips for November:
• Plant tulip bulbs
• Prune vigorous rose bushes, lavatera and buddleia to prevent damage from wind rock
• Place tree guards on young trees and woody shrubs to prevent damage from nibbling by Rabbits, deer or squirrels.
• Raise plant pots onto pot feet to prevent water logging.
Whatever November brings I hope you are able to spend some time in your garden.
Rachel Sobiechowski BSc (Hons) P&R Garden Supplies, Fengate Drove, Brandon 01842 814800 www.p-rgardensupplies.co.uk

COUNTRYSIDE NOTES November 2017 Facts in life

 

There are some facts in life you’ve probably never given a thought as to how they originated. Here are a few answers:
Why do men’s clothes have buttons on the right while women’s clothes have buttons on the left? When buttons were invented, they were very expensive and worn primarily by the rich. Since most people are right-handed, it is easier to push buttons on the right through holes on the left. Because wealthy women were dressed by maids, dressmakers put the buttons on the maid’s right!
Why do ships and aircraft use ‘mayday’ as their call for help? This comes from the French word m’aidez – meaning ‘help me’ – and is pronounced, approximately, ‘mayday.’ Why are zero scores in tennis called ‘love’? In France the round zero on the scoreboard looked like an egg and was called ‘l’oeuf,’ (French for the egg). When tennis was introduced in the US, Americans mispronounced it ‘love.’
Where did the term ‘caddie’ come from in golf? As a young girl Mary Queen of Scots went to France and Louis, King of France, learned that she loved the Scots game ‘golf.’ So he had a course built for her enjoyment. To ensure she was properly chaperoned (and guarded) while she played, Louis hired cadets from a military school to accompany her. In French, the word cadet is pronounced ‘ca-day’ and the Scots changed it into caddie. Why do X’s at the end of a letter signify kisses? In the Middle Ages, when many people were unable to read or write, documents were often signed using an X. Kissing the X represented an oath to fulfil obligations specified in the document. The X and the kiss eventually became synonymous.
Why is shifting responsibility to someone else called ‘passing the buck’? In card games, it was once customary to pass an item, called a buck, from player to player to indicate whose turn it was to deal. If a player did not wish to assume the responsibility of dealing, he would ‘pass the buck’ to the next player.
Why do people clink their glasses before drinking a toast? In earlier times it used to be common for someone to try to kill an enemy by offering him a poisoned drink. To prove that a drink was safe, it became customary for a guest to pour a small amount of his drink into the glass of the host. Both men would drink it simultaneously. When a guest trusted his host, he would only touch or clink the host’s glass with his own.
Why are people in the public eye said to be ‘in the limelight’? Invented in 1825, limelight was used in lighthouses and theatres by burning a cylinder of lime which produced a brilliant light. In the theatre, a performer ‘in the limelight’ was the centre of attention.
Why is someone who is feeling great ‘on cloud nine’? Types of clouds are numbered according to the altitudes they attain, with nine being the highest cloud.
Now you know!

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A Yank Remembers

 

Just a little story from a Yank that lived amongst the friendly folks of the Methwold area many moons ago. It was summer 1959, my brother Mike and I had set out to explore the area around our new home in Brookville. Our Dad was a sergeant in the USAF and stationed at RAF Lakenheath. Dad had rented a home for our family in the middle of an apple orchard in Brookville. Our landlady was a nice elderly lady called Mrs Gladstone.

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Boughton News

A cricket match took place in the first week of September against a ‘select 12’ and a team from Dave Hawkins cabins on the pitch at Boughton.
The ‘select 12’ won the toss and chose to bat. Wickets fell very cheaply in the early order: batting order Hugh Jenkins, Barry Ovel, Tom Roberts, Kevin Fisher and Geoff Proctor all went for 11 runs. It all looked very glum but the youngsters rallied round and put on a wonderful display of batting and accumulated a very respectable score. Brothers Jonny and Brynmor Jenkins started the fight back, then Bertie and Arthur Cox put on over 40, followed by father and son Phil and William Richardson who put on 6 and 42 respectively. So after a very poor start we ended with 152 off 30 overs.
Dave’s team took to the crease. Jack, Will, Gary, Ian and Tom went cheaply, but some aggressive batting from Ian W, Stuart, Chris (24) Luke, Geoff and Dave got the score along, but just not enough to better the ‘select 12’. Some wonderful bowling took place from Arthur and Bertie Cox, taking six wickets between them, Jonny Jenkins taking two and William Richardson also taking two.
Many thanks to Clare, who sorted out all the refreshments and to Boughton Cricket Club for the facilities. We must not forget David Cooper, the long-suffering umpire who always turns up for this event.
Geoff Proctor

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