Gardening - May 2020
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What to do in the garden in early May by Tamsin Westhorpe
With the warm weather tulips have been a success for so many this spring. Now that the flowers are coming to an end it’s time to deadhead. Don't be tempted to remove the foliage. It’s just the flowers that have to go. Allow the foliage to turn yellow before removing as this puts energy back into the bulb for next year.
Sowing and growing veg has been a focus for so many of us but don't forget to grow flowers. It's time to think about planting pots, window boxes and baskets with bedding plants. Trust me, we’ll all need the comfort of being surrounded by flowers this summer. If you haven’t grown from seed and you can’t get hold of annuals then I suggest that you go for tender perennials. Scented leaved geraniums and osteospermums are being sent out mail order by some nurseries and these will flower for weeks on end.
We must support our specialist nurseries during this tricky time. They won’t survive unless we shop from them. Locally we are very spoilt for choice with The Gobbett, Frank P Matthews and The Cottage Herbery are just a few. Treat yourself and help them at the same time.
All being well your strawberry plants will be flowering. It’s now that you need to surround them with a bed of straw.
Water pots morning and or evening and remember that one good watering a day is far better than little and often.
Pot on young tomato plants and send off for your tomato feed via mail order - you’ll need this for success.
Clip your evergreen hedges but please check for birds nests first.
Keep control of your weeds. Dandelions are great for pollinating insects but don’t let all of them go to seed or next year you’ll be overwhelmed.
Stop, look and listen. Those who are usually caught up in the race of working life should take this time to admire the garden. Make note of the birds, the insects and admire the garden as it rapidly changes from day to day.
If you don't have the luxury of a garden or can’t garden then I suggest that you turn to social media. So many gardeners are sharing videos of their plots.
To keep up to date with all the plants at Stockton Bury Gardens follow me on instagram or twitter @tamsinwesthorpe
Enjoy your garden, don't overdo it and be thankful for your plot.
Lie on the lawn and look up at the sky!
Wisteria at Stockton Bury Gardens
Herbie reads a poem called God's Garden by Robert Frost
Tamsin takes you on a walk through the Orchards at Stockton Bury
Some photos of blooms in my Leominster garden. by: Wendy Pridie, Chair Hamnish Gardening Club
Phlox, bluebells and Euphorbia
Centaurea - a bee magnet
Tulips from Stocktonbury bulb sale
Euphorbia griffithii - 'Fireglow'
Hamnish Gardening Club
Following our very successful New Year’s Dinner in January, the HGC programme has suffered badly with all meetings cancelled due to either flooding or Covid-19. Sadly this looks likely to continue for a while and, consequently, the garden visit to Broxwood Court in June will not be possible. We have already planned the programme and booked the speakers for September 2020-September 2021 but, at the time of writing, even the start-date in September remains in doubt.
Please see the August parish magazine or the Eastern Parishes Website for further information or contact Wendy Pridie (01568 611398) or Rowena Gale (01568 615855).
Hoping that all our members are keeping as safe as possible and have been able to spend more time than usual enjoying their gardens and relaxing in the wonderfully sunny weather during the weeks of lockdown – could this be the silver lining of the pandemic?!
An unusual Honesty
It’s always exciting when an unexpected plant pops up in the garden. We have an attractive dark-purple flowered Honesty (Lunaria annua) in the garden, which was well established when we moved here almost sixteen years ago. It is very generous with its seeds and strong plants occur all around the garden. These are very welcome arrivals each year, flowering profusely in early spring.
This year, however, we were surprised to find an unusual variant growing beside the compost heap, with flowers displaying striking white markings on the petals (see photo). Several Honesty cultivars are available commercially (e.g. flowers: shades of violet/purple or white; leaves: green, dark purple or variegated), but I have never seen a form with white patterns on the petals.
It’s probably just a mutation, but has anyone any suggestions?
A walk around my garden
Martin’s new wild life pond and our Patti Plum poppy that we bought at Heligan many years ago.
Pauline & Martin Rees