Last month I was asked to judge Ticknall Flower and Produce show for the third time. The standard was very high again and extremely difficult to judge. I was pleased to see a great effort from the children’s category and an interesting section “Gardening Disasters” which strangely enough made me smile than cry. I said at the start of the year that it looks like it’s going to be a bumper season for crops and it certainly seems that way as most crops seem to be performing far better than normal.
I need to get this plug in … having spoken to a number of people as I do in my job, the thing most people say is you need to do gardening talks – which I already do ! – So if you are a member of a gardening club (if not, why not) please speak to the person that organises your talks and get them to contact me in the usual way.
Before I forget, you need to start planting spring flowering bulbs this month. Many plant nurseries and garden centres will be stocking their new season spring flowering bulbs this month such as hyacinths, narcissus (daffodils), crocus and tulips. There are a number of ways bulbs are sold:
1.Loose – Often the cheapest way to buy (no extra packaging) and you can closely inspect the bulbs before you buy. Usually a bigger “Grade” (size) of bulb for your money.
2.In Packs – Very quick way of buying bulbs, also with the nice picture on the front of the packet you don’t forget what you have purchased. If it’s your first time buying bulbs, then this is the best way as there will be good planting instructions.
3.On-line – No inspection before you buy, usually a smaller “Grade” (size) bulb, can be cheap with added delivery charge.
Allotment or Vegetable Patch:
• Pick apples, pears, plums and gages as they ripen, wrapping apples in paper for storage.
• Plant spring cabbage plants now.
• Save seeds from good varieties of beans for sowing next year.
• Buy strawberry plants now, late summer/ autumn is always the best time to plant.
• Prune out fruited blackberry stems and tie in new ones.
• Lift and store onions
• Cut down the ferny shoots of asparagus to soil level.
In the Greenhouse:
• Line greenhouses with bubble wrap for insulation if temperatures start to fall at night.
• Clear out exhausted crops and wash down glazing, staging and framework with a garden disinfectant.
• Plant dwarf bulbs in pots including iris, crocus, chionodoxa and scilla which should be on sale now in garden centres and nurseries.
• Towards the end of this month wash off greenhouse shading paint.
General Garden Maintenance:
• Fill the compost heap with old flower heads and stems from around the garden. Make sure not to compost diseased leaves.
• Improve drainage on compacted lawns by spiking the ground with a fork or aerator and apply lawn sand + sulphate of iron to green up the lawn and kill moss.
• Collect, wash with a garden disinfectant and store away canes, plant supports and pots.
• Trim hedges to keep them neat and to control their size, possibly the last cut of the year.
• Look out for leatherjackets, found now on lawns, with a suitable
• Insecticide or biological control.
• Collect any fallen leaves from around roses to reduce the risk of diseases carrying over to next season.
• Prune rambling/climbing roses back after flowering.
• Grow bulbs in “aquatic” baskets ready to drop into gaps in the border in spring.
• Prepare ground ready for planting spring bulbs, by adding sand or a good bulb planting compost.
• Plant new evergreen hedges such as laurel, conifer, pyracantha and escallonia.
• Clear away faded bedding plants from borders and containers – then compost plants.
I’m always being asked at the nursery, during gardening talks or via email to recommend evergreen climbers or wall shrubs.
Here are 3 that look good during September
Berberidopsis corallian (coral plant)
A twining, evergreen climber with leathery leaves and attractive round red flowers from August to September. Best planted in a shady, moist peaty location away from strong winds. You should be able to find this in most nurseries/ garden centres.
Lonicera “Copper Beauty”
Impressive NEW variety of evergreen honeysuckle with a profusion of bright yellow, scented flowers. The stand out feature is the burgundy new growth that appears throughout the growing season. Best grown against a sunny wall but can grow in semi-shade
A personal favorite of mine with soft, holly like, glossy leaves. This wall shrub produces long arching white flowers in abundance. Can be grown in part shade to deep shade in most soils.
If you need help /advice please contact me via email:
OR have your garden featured in Country Images Magazine
or by phone 01332 700800