garden-notes

Tagged: garden notes

18 June, 2019

Garden Notes

Garden Club The Villager

I have just been to Sissinghurst where the smell in the rose garden was amazing. We tend to put the looks and colour of our plants first, but smell adds another dimension. The calming smell of lavender, the sweet smell of syringa, reminding you of orange blossom and weddings and the smell of new mown grass. All these add so much to the enjoyment of your garden. ...

24 May, 2019

Garden Notes

Garden Club The Villager

Why did it die. We are always asking ourselves this. Basically plants want to live but sometimes the fates are against them. We get a very wet season and on our heavy clay plants can get waterlogged. Or when you didn’t notice the slugs had stripped the stem. If we have a very dry season the plants weaken and often do not show damage until the next season when they do not have the will to survive. A late frost can strip a plant of its young leaves and it may struggle to produce another crop. Perhaps you have just planted it in the wrong place, too hot, too shady, too windy, a frost pocket or too wet. ...

16 April, 2019

Garden Notes

Garden Club The Villager

What a marvellous spring we have had. So warm I had some bluebells out at the end of March. Not everyone has room for a large shrub border, but there are so many small shrubs available that it is easy to fit one in. They are much less work that a conventional border. Something to plan for when you find the garden becoming a chore. ...

18 March, 2019

Garden Notes

Garden Club The Villager

Plants like water. Think how they grew when we had lots of rain. The sack of potatoes I bought then had huge ones in it. This year after the dry summer my sack is full of tiddlers. We all want to use water carefully, and there are some easy ways to do this. Water in the evening so that the sun does not evaporate it before it can be used. Water at the base of the plant rather than the border as a whole. Cover the soil with a mulch so that it is protected from the sun. Plant in the right place. If you know it needs lots of water plant in shade. Phlox are quite happy in semi shade. In the veg patch use beans or peas to provide shade for lettuce and other leafy plants. A soaker hose, that can be used off a tap or a water butt, will give water where it is needed using much less water than a sprayer. Having told you this it will probably rain all summer, but at least you can be prepared. ...

24 February, 2019

Garden Notes – New Ideas

Garden Club The Villager

Why don’t I follow my own advice! The voles have been eating my hellebore flowers because I was late cutting the leaves back. Last year I grew some new vegetables, spurred on by an article in the Telegraph that extolled them. The first was crosnes, pronounced crones, a type of salvia. This produces lots of small, little finger sized, michelin men shaped tubers. Fiddly to scrub clean. They will give you the crisp texture of water chestnuts in your stir fries. Sadly they taste of nothing and I shall not grow them again. The other was oca, or New Zealand Yam. This looks like a bushy, succulent clover and produces new potato sized tubers in red or yellow. They have a lemony taste and I enjoyed them roasted with garlic. They do not start producing tubers until late summer so cannot be harvested before December when the tops are frosted to a mush. I then covered mine with a blanket of leaves to protect from further frosts. I shall grow this again, though there are so many tiny tubers left in the soil I probably have no option. ...

25 January, 2019

Garden Notes

Garden Club The Villager

Do you have a Winter Garden? I doubt it, you just do your best to keep some interest going during the winter. We took a trip down to Chichester just before Christmas and saw the best garden I have seen for a long time. It is the Bishop’s Palace Garden. This lies just behind the Cathedral, a few minutes walk from the High Street. It is now owned by the council who keep it up with the help of friends of the garden. It does have some great advantages, such as lots of old trees and fifteen foot Roman and Tudor walls round it, but the planting is superb. All the borders were well dressed with evergreens and young coloured stemmed dogwoods but they still had evidence of cut down perennials that would give summer colour. They used a lot of phormiums, evergreen grasses, euphorbias, dwarf pittosporums, small evergreen shrubs and hellebores. The warmth of the garden had kept the acanthus and penstemon foliage still looking good. I hope to go again in June to see the rose pergola in flower. One interesting idea was the reuse of a small circular pond which they had heaped with soil to the height of about three feet and planted with very dwarf evergreen shrubs and ground cover. Do try and visit it if you can. ...