This week we talked about hardy and tender plants:
- Hardy plants can withstand winter temperatures down to -15oC
- Frost-hardy down to -5oC.
- Half-hardy down to 0oC
- Tender down to +5oc
Half-hardy plant seed can be sown April-May to miss the last frosts. Ideally sow over bottom heat of 20oC for germination (under-floor heating is perfect!). Although we don’t get very cold winters the British Isles has highly changeable weather which can throw all sorts of challenges at plants e.g. one night frost, next day warm and wet, then very windy etc. with little time to adapt. Where plants are placed in the garden makes a lot of difference to their hardiness – e.g. shelter of a wall, close to house, free-draining soil. Don’t put camellias or fleshy-leaved plants in east-facing sites as they will get damaged when the sun reaches them quickly after frost.
- Cobaea scandens – cup-and-saucer plant. (A tender climber)
- Tibouchina (Conservatory plant)
Both of the above are pollinated by bats in their native countries and have similar flower structures.
- Echeveria (frost tender succulent)
Hates wet but can stand some cold if kept dry. All plants in Crassulaceae family can be propagated from single leaves. Put in gritty compost (or leave dry in a plant saucer) – will produce thread-like roots and tiny new rosette forms at base of leaf.
- Begonia luxurians (tender) Good in pots. Can give a dramatic effect eventually reaching 2m. White flowers.
- Tagetes ‘Cinnabar’ – half hardy annual which was sown late and is just ending its flowering. It is a tall, branching marigold with finely cut deep, rich green leaves. Copper orange bordering on rusty red single flowers are produced usually from July to October.
Seeds like porcupine quills!
Activities in the garden this week:
- Making obelisks
- Rose pruning
- Sowing broad beans, spinach and rocket
- Tending compost heaps
- Pricking out wallflowers
- Bulb planting in pots and top garden
- Tidying and planting ‘winter bed’
- Emptying summer pots and taking cuttings of tender plants
- Tidying willow arch so that winter-flowering clematis is visible