27th September 2018

Garden Notes

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Where are the next gardeners coming from? If the children at school are not allowed to fail and everyone gets a medal how will they cope with gardening?

This year has been all about accepting that you cannot always win. Favourite plants have died, vegetable crops have needed lots of water and even then some have not made it. I had a load of vegetables in modules ready to provide the second crop but had to bin them because it was always too hot to plant out seedlings. Without any water my dahlias have been pathetic.

What we need to teach our children is that there is always tomorrow to do better.

Now is the time to buy those bulbs. I shall get the cheapest bundles I can to do the ‘lasagne’ planting of tulips and daffodils in big tubs. They get thrown away afterwards. Tulips are never kept. I tipped out an old tub recently and found they had split into lots of tiny bulbs that would take years to bulk up enough to flower. I do tubs to bring into the conservatory, but they spend the winter outside and I have to protect them from squirrels. An inch or two of grit on the top seems to work, but horticultural grit is expensive. I found that large gravel, bigger than pea shingle, from the drive works just as well. I have saved it from last year and the one thing I will do is bake it to kill off weed seeds and the tulip fire that I had last year. It is the first time I have had it and I planted late as they advise.

If you have experimented with a meadow, do plant some camassias. They give you splendid tall blue flowers and will bulk up nicely. They look just as nice in the borders.

I always buy a few new daffodils each year, and find that to spread the flowering time the ones with the browner centres seem to flower later.

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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