Talk of the Month
Whats On in September
A new report from the National Garden Scheme emphasises the vital role that gardens and outdoor spaces played – and continue to play – in the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the nation during lockdown and the report confirms that the power of gardens to do good has never been more important. NGS Gardens are still opening to the public, strictly by
booking on-line. To check out which gardens might be open, and to book, go to https://ngs.org.uk/
If you want an excursion near to home, Burrow Farm Gardens (and Tea Room!) are open again and booking is not required. https://burrowfarmgardens.co.uk/
Further afield, RHS Rosemoor’s gardens are also open again and can be visited by pre-booking a time slot. Click here to find out more: https://www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/rosemoor/articles/visiting-the-garden?gclid=Cj0KCQjwqfz6BRD8ARIsAIXQCf3it8_lV75vjX5inwXnx67A-3KOktAcPLx1VZK5G2KEmwI0YGjoqmEaAmK5EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
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.
- Divide your herbaceous perennials. This will keep your plants healthy and vigorous year after year and multiply your stock.
- 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.
- Make a note of your garden’s pros and cons at this time of year to remind you of any changes that you need to make for next year.
Click here to read more: https://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/eight-reasons-to-prune-in-summer/
Did you know?
In a change to the usual plant information, we are thinking ahead (dreaming of?) possible outings of interest and the first suggestion is:
Salvia uliginosa, or bog sage, is highly adaptable as it is not fussy about soil type, sun exposure, drainage or frequency of watering. It grows up to 3 to 6 feet (0.91 to 1.83 m) tall in one season, with multiple thin stems and yellow-green lance-shaped leaves that have serrated edges. The plant quickly spreads on underground runners and is readily divided.
The bright azure-blue flowers are ½ inch (1.3 cm) long with a white beeline in the throat pointing toward the nectar and pollen. They grow in whorls beginning in summer until autumn, with many flowers coming into bloom at the same time.
This salvia was introduced to the nursery industry in 1912 and may also be called ‘Blue Spike Sage’. However, it was first described in 1833 by botanist George Bentham and named for the Latin word ‘uliginosa’ meaning damp, marshy and wet. It grows naturally in the boggy ground of Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil and may become invasive in moist areas. It has become popular in gardens and public landscapes for its azure-blue flowers, ability to grow under various conditions, and its pollinator habitat attributes. Good for bees!
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Micro-leaves are all the rage so you will enjoy growing, and hopefully eating, them too!
You don’t need special micro-leaf seeds – just use seeds of any veg with edible leaves, such as basil, broccoli or spinach. Choose any container, from plastic cups, yoghurt pots or biodegradable pots – all the better if you can draw a smiley face on them.
Fill your pots almost to the top with compost – just leave a little gap to make watering easier. Scatter the veg or herb seeds thinly across the surface, then cover with a little compost.
Water to dampen the compost, then check them regularly to make sure it doesn’t dry out. Then simply place the pots on an indoor windowsill to grow. To harvest the microgreens, simply snip them off at the base.
Alternatively, wait until they have a pair of true leaves then cut off just these, and you may get a couple of harvests.
You can learn how germination works by sprouting bean seeds in a jar. Roll up several sheets of paper towel into a cylinder then pop them inside a clear clean jar. Dampen the paper then push some bean seeds in between the glass and the damp towel. Check regularly for signs of germination and observe the roots and shoots as they push through. Do you notice the difference between the young seedling leaves and the first true, or adult leaves?
A fun project is to dig up and pot up a young dandelion. Dig up as much of the long taproot as you can and transplant it to a container of soil or potting mix. Give it a water then move it to a windowsill. Rather than being mown or weeded out, this way you will get to see how the plant produces its flowers and seeds. Why does it do this? Can you guess how many seeds there are? How would the seeds get dispersed?