Posted on 21 September, 2016Comments (0)

Garden Notes

Garden Notes

I have made a real blunder in part of my garden. We all do it. Planting things too close, putting tall plants in front of short ones, or having to cut back a shrub every year because it is too big for its position. My mistake was to plant iris at the feet of clematis. I know very well that clematis like lots of water and to have their bases in shade, while iris like it well drained and love the sun on their tubers. This has been proved by the clematis in a full border flowering well into September and those with the sun on their roots giving up in mid August. I have to make a choice and the iris will have to go and I must find something to plant in front of the clematis that will provide the cool root run they like. There has been mildew on one clematis because of the lack of water.

September and October is the time when the asters come out. They are great to follow on from phlox because they have the same colourings so can fit in with the rest of your border. Now called symphyotrichum you can get the novi-belgii types with smooth shiny leaves and the novae-angliae sort with rougher hairy leaves. If you have a dry garden then go for the novae-angliae types as they are not prone to the mildew that can attack the novibelgii ones if they are short of water. You may find that the bottom leaves of the noveaangliae die off and look awful so plant in the middle of the borders. Always check the heights of plants you buy because there are some very tall ones that you would need to stake. If you want shorter ones there are some with small starry flowers like ericoides. I have one called divaricartus with white flowers that flowers in September and has a flopping habit, ideal for the front of a border. Miss Jekyll used to plant it to cover where other plants had died down or been cut back.

I have done a lot of garden visiting this summer and one plant that caught my eye was a yellow aconite about 5 ft tall allowed to flop on a bank at Hidcote. Now is the time to start planning those alterations while you can still see what is what in the borders. Drop a few labels into plants if you think you may not recognize them once they are cut down.

Stella Strachan

[Please note that this message is not posted on behalf of Bentworth Parish Council and does not necessarily reflect the Parish Council’s policy]

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