It is that lovely time of year in the garden when all your hard work over those cold winter months comes to fruition; flowers are blooming, the lush new growth of shrubs and trees has emerged, and all we need to do now is enjoy it! That’s right isn’t it?! Unfortunately, as gardeners, our work is never finished, and there are a few jobs that will keep the garden looking at its best through this summer season writes Dluxe’s Gardening Correspondent Frances Hunt of Goscote Nurseries.
The first rule of gardening at this time of year is: water!! Do remember to keep any new additions to the gardens well watered, and that does mean every single day I’m afraid. It is incredible how quickly the soil dries out, and even after a quick shower, if you burrow your finger down into the soil by about half an inch, you will probably find very little moisture. There are a few important rules to follow when watering during these summer months. Firstly, make sure you water first thing in the morning or last thing at night. You will do more damage than good if you water in the middle of the day; any moisture on foliage risks scorching. Secondly, make sure that you water right in the centre of the plant, which means that the water will get straight to the root of the problem! Finally, it may be necessary to give your borders a good fork over in order to allow water to permeate the soil. When the soil dries out or becomes compacted, water does have a tendency to run off, rather than be absorbed into the soil. If you have a lot of new plants, or a new hedge that needs watering, you could consider a ‘leaky hose’, a finely perforated hose pipe that permanently weaves through plants, and that can be left on for an hour or so, slowly drenching
the surrounding soil.
One other important job to do at this time of year is…..nothing! Well, at least in the case of bulbs that have already flowered! It is so tempting to just whip that tatty foliage off Alliums, Tulips, and Daffodils, however, please do resist. Bulbs are storage vessels, and need to reabsorb all the energy that they can in order to be able to flower the following year. You may even want to give the bulbs a feed with a multipurpose liquid feed in order to ensure that they flower well the following year. So unfortunately, those tatty leaves will just have to remain for now!
Finally, wedding season is now upon us, and we all want to give that something ‘special’ as a wedding gift. It is a great idea to give a newly married couple a plant, something that they can include in their garden, and which will remind them of their wedding day for years to come. There are a few options for plant gifts that are worth thinking about:
Cornus contraversa ‘Variegata’- The classic Wedding Cake Tree. This large shrub or small tree grows in an unusual way, forming ‘tiers’ with its branches, just like a wedding cake. The creamy white edge to the leaves means that it really stands out within a garden, and acts as a gorgeous contrast to the deep red stems.
Rosa ‘Wedding Day’- A gorgeous rambling rose, that would look perfect over an arch, or tumbling through an established tree. This highly fragrant rose produces masses of clusters of white flowers, with lovely yellow centres. There are of course many roses with ‘occasion’ names, for instance, ‘Best Wishes’, ‘Special Occasion’, and ‘Warm Wishes’, any of which would work as a fantastic wedding gift.
There are also tons of options for a more personal wedding gift, whether that be a plant with one of the couple’s names, e.g. Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’, or a tree that grew in the bride’s original family home. One of my most treasured gifts from my wedding day was a pair of tiny Oak trees, grown from two acorns gathered from the tree beneath which my grandparents’ ashes are buried. It’s always guaranteed to make
me smile when I see those two little Oaks, side by side, in their terracotta pot.
For more details on any of the plants mentioned, or to have a chat about garden design and build,
email [email protected] or call them on 01509 812 121