Last weekend was the annual East of England Alpaca Show in Essex. 142 animals were judged. Our Intermediate Fawn Female Moat Farm Isla was placed 2nd out of 12 superb animals and we are delighted with this result.
As a result of being away last weekend jobs are building up in the garden.
Remove fallen leaves and hoe the rose beds. This will help reduce blackspot carry over the winter into next season.
Paca Poo can be used straight from the field it is not a hot manure like horse so won't scorch plants. We empty the "poover" straight onto the borders and spread it around. This makes an excellent mulch and the worms soon do their stuff!
The rose garden is in need of urgent pruning and weeding!
Climbing roses in particular, benefit from a prune now.
We all love freebies and one of the easiest to get are new strawberry plants. :Look closely toward the end of the runner and at a nodule you may see some small roots forming. Simply peg these down with some bent wire into a buried plant pot with compost and the roots will form in the pot. After a few weeks, sever the runner and overwinter in the greenhouse to plant out next year
Don't forget to remove any old straw around the plants and cut back old leaves to encourage new growth.
Do you have any wine bottle corks? if so they make great plant pot stands. Simply roll 3 or 4 under the pot and it will lift the pot just enough to give ample drainage and frost protection over the winter. Once you've had the pleasure of the bottle, the cork is free!
Every year at this time a tiny Gold Crest flies into our utility room, to tell us extremely loudly that it has arrived safely after its long journey from Northern Europe. We welcome it and wish it good luck and it then flies off. Its extraordinary! We think it must be the same bird each year as it seems such a coincidence that it comes back to exactly the same spot around mid October.
Crab Apple Jelly
The Crab Apple tree has had an excellent crop of beautiful beetroot red apples.
Picked and preserved in a few hours will mean delicious crab apple jelly this winter.