December 21, 2007 Weekly Garden Guide

If you have left your run this late preparing the outdoors for impending visits by sometimes critical relatives, at least mow the lawns. If you can manage more, then remember that first impressions count so tidying the stretch from the letter box to the door is a start. Neat edges and swept paths have more immediate impact than a weed free garden. You have left it too late to spray weeds with glyphosate (Round Up) before Christmas (it takes from 10 days to three weeks to work) but boiling water will instantly kill pesky weeds in paved areas.

  • If you are not a tidy or enthusiastic gardener, do not apologise to visitors. Practice throwing away airy comments such as, “We think matrix planting is the way to go, don’t you?” “We are trying a more natural way to manage our garden, organic almost.” “A weed is just a plant in the wrong place.” “We are working on a meadow garden.”
  • Heed the rumblings about rubbish, burning and the environment. If you have never had a compost heap, it might be timely to suggest that a compost bin would make an acceptable last minute gift.
  • There may not be a great deal of intensive gardening going on over the next week but if you want some quiet time, deadheading and weeding are never ending tasks.