Spring has really got going in the garden and throughout the rest of Brighton and Hove. Blossoms and even early Tulips are out in many places and we talked about how lovely Tulipa ‘Rems Favourite’ is looking in the garden at the moment.
We discussed the different Clematis groups and when to prune them.
Group 1 – These Clematis flower in spring on shoots produced the previous season. They should be pruned immediately after flowering in mid to late spring, eg. Clematis alpina, Clematis armandii.
Group 2 – This group generally has the largest flowers and bloom either all summer or twice a year in early and late summer. They can be cut back lightly after their first flowering and then during early spring the following year, eg. Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’ AGM, Clematis ‘Jackmanii Alba’.
Group 3 – This group flowers on the new season’s growth and should be cut back in February above a healthy bud approximately 30cm above the ground, eg. Viticella-type Clematis such as C. ‘Bill Mackenzie’. They are good to grow with Roses and can exhibit attractive seed-heads.
Amelanchier canadensis ‘Ballerina’
This is a small deciduous tree or large shrub which has snowy-white flowers in spring, followed by small red berries, turning to purple. It has good autumn interest as well as its leaves turn orange to purple-brown.
Prunus ‘Tai-haku’ – Great White Cherry
This medium-sized decidous tree has a broad spreading crown and its leaves turn a deep bronze-red in the autumn. During spring it bares large single white flowers which can measure 6cm in length.
We talked about Prunus triloba which are much smaller and may be grown in large pots. In spring it is covered in clear pink flowers. Starting off as a shrub, in time it can be trained as a tree and even a wall shrub if pruned correctly.
Among the spring flowers we have in the garden are:
Narcissus ‘Minnow’ – see last week.
This multi-headed variety is scented and almost pure white – so elegant and refined.
The following species Tulips are generally reliable and often come back year after year.
Tulipa ‘Little Girl’ with its attractive foliage.
Tulipa saxatilis (Bakeri Group) ‘Lilac Wonder’
This is one of the first Tulips to appear and grows to about 25cm.
Primula denticulata (De)- drumstick primula
These distintive Primulas are easy to take cuttings from.
Jobs this week:
- We planted Clematis ‘Frankie’ near Kerria japonica ‘Golden Guinea’ in the Top Garden and also one over the wall near the top of the steps. We placed plenty of grit around them and sprayed them with organic slug and snail deterrent.
- Work on the pond continued in earnest. Keith helped to remove the old liner and the base was reshaped and levelled out. By the end of the morning it was good to see the pond being refilled with fresh water.
- Protective covers were removed from the Salvias and they were tidied up and place in a sunny position. These will be planted later in new “hot” borders which will be developed in a few weeks.
- We continued to label the Roses and gave some of them a good feed.
- Seeds of Half Hardy Annuals were sown, eg. Lettuce, Cosmos.
- Erigerons and Santolina were cut back to improve their shape and fed well. We have noticed that increased feeding of plants in the garden has made a huge difference over the last year or so. Chicken pellet fertiliser was scattered around the base of the plants and worked into the soil.
- The willow arch was trimmed back and tied in. Any stray branches were weaved in and tidied up.
- Structures were made inside the greenhouse for tomatoes. The greenhouse beds were cleared and dug over and a frame was constructed from canes and birch twigs. Tagetes were kept in place to deter white fly.
- Narcissi which had gone over were dead-headed.