Earlier this week I met one of the wisest women in the world! Well, in Amersham anyway. Why? Because next year she will be celebrating an important birthday and would like to use her garden for the festivities… wise woman has called me in now to help make changes to her outdoor space, and to spruce up the planting design. Do as the wise woman has done and get in touch well in advance to at least talk about your garden plans.
Do give me a shout if you’d like information on good gardens to visit whilst you’re on your travels this summer – I think we can safely refer to it as such now – I’ve visited parks and gardens all over the country and can advise on the best places to visit.
gardens & allotments
As abundant the roses are right now, unfortunately some of them have rust and black spot on their leaves. Snip it off as soon as you see these diseases appearing and do NOT compost them – the spores of the disease will breed in your composting heap. Burn the infected leaves or dispose in the household waste wheelie bin.
With the rain comes reduced plant and veg watering but increased slug and snail husbandry. Be vigilant; check any stock you buy from garden centres for hidden eggs, lift stones, rocks, woodpiles and bucket up the offending beasts. Now you have two choices… either ‘lob’ them into the nearest hateful neighbour’s garden or take a visit to the nearest woodland. Use pellets if you’re lazy but, if you do, please make sure they are wildlife friendly.
I’ve been staking like a detective this season. The rain has boosted plant and veg growth but the accompanying winds have also taken their toll. Use timber from the builders’ merchant driven into the soft ground with a hefty whack from a mighty sledgehammer! However, this is not a good look for sweet peas; a delicate wigwam of four sturdy new fresh canes tied at the top will be much more appropriate!
Pick your fruit and veg regularly in the wet weather so that mildew doesn’t have chance to set in. Moreover, if you’re going on holiday, ask someone to pick for you rather than leaving the crop ‘till you get home. This way they won’t become overladen and snap. I can carry out a holiday veg plot with watering, picking and greenhouse service for very reasonable rates in Berkhamsted if required. Yum!
Prune your spring flowering shrubs such as Deutzia (part of the Hydrangea family), Kolkwitzia (Honeysuckle), Weigela (a bushy deciduous shrub native to East Asia) and Philadelphus, better known as mock-orange, after they have finished flowering. If this job is left too late, the new growth after pruning may not have sufficient ripening time to flower well next year. If in doubt, drop me a line. Clematis Montana can be cut back hard now too.
cutbacks on cutting back?!
I very much like the local government cutbacks with regards to mowing and strimming the verges, at the moment, as I’m sure you are too. Have you ever seen such a plethora of floral beauty on our roadside? This is partly due to rain but also because of less strimming. Yay I say!
For some years, I’ve been encouraging the less raised-earth approach to my gardens. If you mow your grass and leave a strip to grow naturally, it will soon look part of the design and you will come to appreciate and enjoy the contrast between naturalness and neatness. Hampton Court Palace do it, Cliveden do it, Nigel Colborn does it and I do it, so you can too!