Gardening: This monkey is an excellent extra to your private home

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BETWEEN this week’s rain, I had some time in the garden.

There were some plants that needed to be cleaned up. I was clearing damp, broken stems from some of my perennials to make the beds look a little tidier. I have a very large hellebore in the front yard and now is a good time to remove and dispose of the black speckled foliage. This will help limit the spread of leaf blotch disease.

With all the wind and rain, always check that any small alps you may have around your property have not been choked by leaves and other wind-blown debris. If so, carefully put it away to make sure the plant can survive.

I put some winter pansies in lots of containers last fall and was pleasantly surprised at the color they delivered in the bed outside the kitchen. To keep her dramatic display, it’s important to kill her and any other winter flowering bedding you have on a regular basis, and to remove any leaves that are affected by downy mildew.

If the ground isn’t too frozen, this may be an opportunity to move dormant plants that you now believe are in the wrong place to more suitable locations

I have a collection of many cacti at home, probably over 50 different ones around the house and another small collection in the greenhouse that go out to the garden in summer. This is the time of year when the monkey tail cactus produces the most amazing and delicate flowers.

The correct name is Hildewintera colademononis and is probably one of my favorites. As I said, it is commonly known as the monkey tail cactus because its stems resemble a monkey’s tail. They hang on the pot and look furry at them. It is native to Bolivia and most commonly grows on or between steep rocks hanging over a jungle.

A single plant can have three to five stems that branch out below. The plant grows upright a few meters, then the stems droop and droop. They produce bright red / orange flowers that are particularly decorative and bloom for a few days. The monkey tail cactus is also suitable as a houseplant, preferably as a hanging plant. In addition, maintenance is very simple and watering should only be done in summer and spring and only when the soil feels dry to the touch. Why don’t you give it a try?

Read more about Geoff’s garden at www.driftwoodbysea.co.uk