Talk of the Month
Whats On in September
Saturday, 11th September from 1pm: Kilmington Village Show including Celebration of your gardening achievements (in the Hall).
If you are cautious about days out, you need not look far to find a beautiful garden to visit. Burrow Farm Gardens is practically on the doorstep and is open to visitors every day. With 13 acres to explore it is the perfect day out. Check out the website for more information: https://burrowfarmgardens.co.uk/
What to do in the garden this month
- Keep your Camellias and Rhododendrons well-watered at this time of year to ensure that next year’s buds develop well.
- Trim lavender after flowering to keep them compact.
- As your Penstemon flowers fade, cut them back to just above a bud to encourage more flowers.
- Complete summer pruning of Wisteria after flowering by removing all the whippy side shoots from the main branch framework to about 20cm from their base (about five leaves from the main stem).
- Cut back herbs now to encourage a new flush of tasty leaves you can harvest.
Christmas greenery, straight from the garden
What could be more lovely than stepping out on a cold and frosty morning to pick home-grown Christmas greenery, straight from the garden? Graham Rice offers some expert plant suggestions.
It used to be that the only option for holiday greenery in the home was the Christmas tree, along with holly and ivy. Now everything’s changed, and very definitely for the better.
Today an increasing range of attractive evergreen alternatives for decorative foliage is available to use in wreaths, in table decorations and in long-lasting seasonal arrangements. And the great thing about so many of these alternatives is that you can grow them yourself at home. Here are ten options.
Numbers at the end of each entry refer to plant height and RHS hardiness rating.
Edged in gold
Fresh and bright
Holly with a difference
White Christmas pine
Longest lasting evergreen
Did you know?
The Dahlia has been in Europe for over two hundred years. It came from Mexico to the Botanical Gardens in Madrid towards the end of the eighteenth century and was named by Abbe Cavanille in honour of Andreas Dahl, Swedish scientist-cum-environmentalist.
The initial named species imported into Europe were Dahlia pinnata, Dahlia rosea and Dahlia coccinea. The first dahlias grown outside of Madrid were single (open-centred) and multi-ray open centre flowered, but it was not long before the horticultural growers of the day discovered the Dahlia was a natural hybrid and when grown from seed, it readily changed its form and colour, so that today we have a range of Dahlia types that offer something to please everyone.
The first double flowered cultivars were called Show and Fancy types. The Show were self-coloured, ball like flowers, while the Fancy ones were multi-coloured. During the mid-1800’s, these show and fancy flowers attained cult status with gardeners, and several thousand different cultivars were recorded. Other forms followed, in 1829 the first Anemone-flowered dahlia appeared and then in 1850 the first Pompon were raised in Germany, and was named after the bobble on a French Sailor’s hat. The origin of the Cactus and Decorative type belongs to the arrival of “Juarrezii” according to the written records it was imported as a piece of tuber from Mexico in 1872 to Holland. M.Van de Berg of Uttrecht who had received this so-called species (actually a cultivar) from Mexico and released stock of the cultivar in 1874.
Subsequently “Juarrezii”, named after a President of Mexico, was introduced into the UK by W. Cullingford who would become Vice President of the National Dahlia Society. After 1880 Collarettes are the last form of dahlia to have been raised, they have their origin in France and are due to the sporting of dahlias at Jardin Botanique de Lyon at the end of the 19th century.
Today, there are cultivars in the form of the waterlily, the paeony, the orchid, the chrysanthemum and the anemone, to say nothing of the main formations like the decorative (flat, broad petals), the cactus and semi-cactus types (rolled, pointed petals) and the ball forms (globular flowers) that have as their smallest relative the popular Pompon Dahlias that beguile so many gardeners.
There is every colour and colour combination to choose from, except the elusive blue which is covered by the wide range of violet and mauve cultivars. Sizes range from the smallest types, called Topmix or Lilliput Dahlias to the giants that have blooms over a foot in diameter carried on powerful stems.
Today’s hybridisers are still seeking the true blue dahlia, as well as one with a scent, and one that is frost hardy.
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KILMINGTON KIDS' CORNERDon’t forget that if you have any gardening stories or photos to share with us, we would love to hear from you!
The importance of bees is big news these days. Have you ever thought how important bees are? What did you have for breakfast today? Jam on toast? Fresh fruit? Dried fruit in your muesli or some grilled tomatoes with your fry-up? Maybe fruit juice or a coffee? All of this was brought to you by bees!
It’s tempting to think bees just provide us with honey – but in fact they’re behind much of the food we eat, including most fruit and vegetables. Bees are incredibly important – they pollinate plants in gardens, parks and the wider countryside, including more than three-quarters of the UK’s wildflowers. Bees are a sign of how healthy, or otherwise, our environment is.
As you are probably aware, numbers of bees are declining but we can all do our bit to improve matters. One of the easiest ways to make a difference is by providing valuable food for bees and other pollinating insects through the seasons. As well as planting flowers e.g. Rudbeckia (see above), think about herbs, fruit, vegetables, shrubs and trees – they can all provide nectar when they are in flower. Here are some ideas to make your space bee friendly.
No problem. Plant herbs in a pot outside your front door or in a window box – bees will love them.
When soft fruits are in flower they are great for bees and they don’t have to take up huge amounts of space. Home-grown raspberries and strawberries are delicious too.
Leave a shallow dish of water for bees, especially in the warmer months. Fill it with pebbles so they have somewhere to land.