Protecting plants: careful!


The Hopeful Herbalist reminded me today that tending a decent sized garden is time consuming: most large, contemporary gardens are cared for by far fewer gardeners than would have been the case in the past. That’s a real challenge, especially as gardening the right way often takes a little more time. How tempting it must be to cut corners!  

Imagine the annual labour of love needed to make sure the plants in the large, classic pots at Gresgarth Hall will survive the winter and to keep any tempting bulbs in the pots dotted around the garden safe from hungry, marauding squirrels.

Pots wrapped up in burlap

This snuggly burlapped pot was carefully prepared for almost any kind of onslaught nature is likely to throw at a garden in North West England. It’s clearly treasured in a way perhaps only a gardener would understand. I wondered if it was a special pot and, if so, what the decoration might be, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it was just a plain pot that won’t withstand freezing.

Pots covered in wire mesh to protect bulbs

I liked the way the mesh on these pots had been neatly pinned in place by hooped wire and how some overseeing eye seemed to be gradually loosening off the mesh to let the plants develop.

Protecting bulbs with wire mesh

These tulips weren’t far from breaking free and being left to fend for themselves.

The clocks went back this weekend. There’s a chill in the air and we’ll soon need to be thinking about winter protection here in England. I feel slightly ashamed to confess that my pots are all left to their own devices. I’d be interested to know whether you’re on the careful or reckless end of the scale. Do you carry out any annual rituals to help ready your own garden for colder weather?

I’m sharing this as a second submission for the weekly photo challenge: careful. Here’s my first, if you missed it.

30 Replies to “Protecting plants: careful!”

  1. This made me think of spring and tulips. Thanks for that on a grey and foggy November morning here in Lancashire. The pots at Gresgarth are huge and very impressive and need protection. I move some of mine into the greenhouse for the winter but more to protect tender plants than posh pots I must admit! Just wish we had their team of gardeners to help around the place! I enjoyed your post very much.

      1. Wow! The local library has the most amazing garden and everyone who visited enjoyed it. They just recently finish giving away the last of the tomatoes!
        Well enjoy.

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