This weekend I made my regular trip to Chelmsford to guest on the Ken Crowther Gardening Programme on BBC Essex. Ken was on holiday, so it was up to me to give all the gardening advice. It was a busy two hours with lots of calls, texts and e-mails.
The over-riding question was on cordylines - all suffering from the winter cold. It looks like cordylines have been one of the biggest casualties of the cold snap - we had numerous calls on this one, all wanting to know what to do to save them. I gave a talk last night at the Middlesex Hardy Plant Society and again cordylines were a hot (or freezing cold) topic of conversation. Well, if you're worried about your cabbage palms, here's some advice.
The vast majority of other questions on Ken's programme were to do with grow your own - both fruit and veg - so it looks like this is still a big gardening subject for 2011 - despite what some industry experts are saying.
We had questions on what to do with seed potatoes (to chit or not to chit that IS the question), growing sweetcorn, blueberries, scab on apples, what to do with too many leeks (eat them?), planting soft fruit, splitting and moving rhubarb, getting the best from raspberries and starting a new veg garden in a small space, among others.
Another new gardener thought her whole garden was 'dead', but it was just that she wasn't used to brown being the predominant garden colour in winter. And, like my last stint on the show, what to do to get the best from orchids - obviously either the most popular houseplant or one that causes more angst than any other - was worrying the county.
So, gardening is alive and kicking in the minds of gardeners - even if all their garden plants are dead!
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