FRIDAY 14th MAY 2021

This may be our last session in mini groups. Is it really possible? Could there be cake and coffee on the horizon? Excitement mounts.

Any chance of sardines?

Full steam ahead in the garden to prepare for a magnificent opening on 18th June for the National Garden Scheme. 11.30 – 4.30. Pre-booking available, or just turn up on the day. https://ngs.org.uk/view-garden/20114/ Not to be missed!

Plant ident

Teucrium fruticans

Also known as Tree Germander. In the Lamiaceae (mint) family, Teucrium has lavender-blue, salvia-like flowers and small, soft, silver-grey leaves. A woody, evergreen shrub which spreads; it’s easy to take cuttings from. Best in a sunny spot in neutral to alkaline soil. Fab for bees and butterflies as it is long-flowering and pollen/nectar-rich.

Smyrnium perfoliatum

Sometimes mistaken for a Euphorbia, this hardy, biennial umbellifer is actually a member of the Apiaceae family and produces brilliant lime-green/ yellow flowers in late spring. Best in dappled shade, where it glows. Once established, it will seed itself around, but can be tricky to establish!

Geranium pyrenaicum

The clue is in the name – it’s originally from the Pyrenees. A marvellous self-seeder, and one which will be welcome all over the garden. Easily removed if it becomes overly keen on moving in with you. If you cut it down after flowering, it will regrow to flower again later in the season.

Anisodontea capensis

From the Malvaceae family, an attractive and very long-flowering evergreen sub-shrub. Upright in habit, it has vivid pink flowers which can last from spring right through to the first frosts. The flowers have magenta centres and delicately-veined markings. Butterflies and bees love this plant, as does the gardener who has it, because it is drought and heat tolerant, and requires little maintenance. Full sun or very light shade suit it best. Grows to 0.6 – 0.9 m. A.G.M. Surely it must be a solid contender for the planned dry garden here at Garden House?

Today’s tasks

Following discussions about the proposed design for the dry garden, it was decided that paths should be widened from 1 m to 1.2 m to allow for ‘floppage’. (A technical term, probably requiring little, if any, explanation.) The seating areas will be similarly enlarged.

Euphorbia demonstrating extreme floppage

One job for today was to use canes and string to mark out the entrances/exits to the dry garden, and also the circles, to get a 3D view of the plan.

The team sprang into action

Creating holes deep enough for the canes

Take copious notes

Jobs for the week

Direct sow seeds

Now that we have nearly reached the magic date of 15th May, when all danger of frost has gone, (has it?), seeds can now be sown directly into the soil. (Possibly not quite yet warm enough for Tomatoes to be outside.) Half-hardy annuals can be planted out once they have been hardened off, and there is a break in the rain. Beds need to be really well prepared. To ensure success, it’s a case of tilth the filth, squirt the dirt, sow and hoe. Simples.

Replace winter/spring pot displays with summer plantings

They’ve been wonderful,

but time moves on…

Pot on those pellies; grow-on those Argyranthemums; find fillers, thrillers and spillers. It’s all hands to the deck, emptying out pots whose displays are now past their best. Plant flowered bulbs out into the garden, save anything which can be re-used and gird your loins for next season’s show. Hopefully it will look something like this:

That’s if it ever decides to stop raining

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