Posted on 17 October, 2017Comments (0)

Garden Notes

Garden Notes

This is the time to assess your garden before everything has died down. What plant has grown too large and flops on others, or which shrub could do with a prune.

If you have seen some shrub that you like, but fear it would grow too big for your garden check to see if there are smaller versions of it. With the tiny gardens in new build houses the nurserymen are producing a lot of dwarf shrubs. I love Abelia for its Autumn flowers but at five feet if might be too big for you but you can get shorter ones like ‘Confetti.’ There are lots of dwarf berberis and the sudden surge of interest in nandina means there are lots of short ones of these. If you have not grown them, they are evergreen with attractive divided leaves that turn red in the winter. Even buddleias come in dwarf versions.

Do you get round to pruning early flowering shrubs in June or July as instructed? I don’t because they are full of leaf, in the middle of a border and looking good and it is not easy to get at the flowered stems that need removing. I just do the best I can in the winter. Removing older stems and leaving the new shoots to flower next year.

My experiment with pruning roses with a hedge clipper as advised by the National Rose Society had mixed success. Yes it is quick and I had lots of flowers, but after a few years the centre of the rose was full of dead wood. This meant a major prune which the roses have been slow to recover from. If I am pushed for time I will still use the hedge trimmer but maybe not every year.

Those of you planning a wildlife garden should know that the favourite habitat of most species is at the edge of a wood which gives them a choice of trees, bushes and herbaceous plants. This is exactly what you have in your garden so you do not have to do much to make it wildlife friendly, just avoid some of those highly bred flowers and stick to the simple single originals. They do not have to be British natives either. Most of our
garden plants are perfect, foreign or not.

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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