24th May 2019

Garden Notes

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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.

We all have this problem but do not give up on that plant. Try it somewhere else. The great gardener Graham Stuart Thomas would always give a plant three chances.

There are some problems like honey fungus that are more serious and can limit what you can grow. The rose and its family members are very susceptible but I have found the dogwoods and clematis seem to survive it. But you can download a list from the RHS website.

We always want to grow the new and exotic but a glance at our local flora can guide you to those families that will like your soil. To take it to extremes a totally wild flower garden can look great and save you lots of headaches. The wild flower planting round Bentworth pond was done in thick, horrid clay, but most plants survived and did well.

William Robinson was a gardener who turned people away from the Victorian rigid bedding to a more natural style using wild flowers to create a cottage garden style that we still love today. Gravetye Manor garden in Sussex was his creation, where self seeding was encouraged. If you get a chance it is well worth a visit. (Too expensive to stay there though!)

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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