Posted on 20 March, 2017Comments (0)

Garden Notes

Garden Notes

At last we can start the annual battle against the weeds. In medieval times there was a fighting season and this is it. If you have dug a new area for a border or just dug round things in an existing one it is worth letting the weed seeds, that you have brought to the surface, germinate. You will also be able to treat those deep rooted weeds like dock and thistle. Using Roundup will get rid of them, though there must be enough leaf area to absorb the poison. I miss the plastic bags from the supermarket, they were ideal for covering all the plants in the border that you need to protect from the weed killer spray. I have found that this is the ideal time to start the battle against bindweed. You can see it now and it has not had time to twine round everything. Yes, you will have to spray it again but it will be easier to deal with having less top growth to unwind.

I cut my buddleias down in March to 45 cm as recommended by Gardening Which and they suggest you recut to 45cm in May. This is supposed to give the longest flowering period. Dead heading will also give a longer flowering period. That is the annoying thing about white buddleia, those brown seed heads spoiling the view. It is useful to have shrubs that flower in late summer. Most are May and June flowering. Roses and late viticella clematis (pruning code 3 on their labels) are a must. You could also try Hydrangeas. A recent one is Zoro with large blue or purple flowers on strong black stems.

Very striking. The paniculata ones with cone shaped flower heads can be cut back each year to keep them within bounds. Vanilla Fraise which starts white and turns pink and Limelight are good. Or if you do not have much space go for the arborescens type of hydrangea, like Annabelle and its pink version Invincibelle. These can be cut hard back each year and will only make about 3 ft. Do not go for the extra large headed ones, you will have to support their heads. Abelias are evergeen and have pink flowers, they also have pink sepals which carry on giving colour when the petals have dropped. Abelia Francis Mason has a gold flush to the leaves. For smaller borders with good drainage try perovskia, caryopteris, certostigma and lavender. All these give the blue flowers that we love in our gardens.

Back to spring gardens, you can see bluebells locally on the New Odiham road or go farther afield to Crawley nr Winchester to see two super gardens.

Stella Strachan

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