All meetings are currently postponed until further notice.
Hello Everyone. Helen here from the Gardening Group. I do hope that you are all staying safe and well and enjoying your garden or outdoor spaces. Thank you to everyone who has emailed with comments or photos, good to hear from you. I hope you all enjoyed the quiz in the last email, here are the answers to that one and a new quiz for this month.
Sweet William and Stinking Willy (oh dear)
This month’s quiz:
1. What is the popular name for the flowering houseplant Impatiens Walleriana?
2. What would a gardener do with a dibber or dibble?
3. Charles Darwin described this carnivorous plant ? the most wonderful plant in the world?. What is the name of this plant?
4. The love apple is the original name for what?
5. The Death Cap is the most poisonous variety of what?
6. What is the name given to the female reproductive organ of a flower?
7. A Kumquat is a small Japanese variety of what sort of fruit?
8. Why is reindeer Moss so called?
9. Harry Wheatcroft was a renowned breeder of what?
10. What is the name of the 3 leafed clover associated with St Patrick?s day?
Answers to be revealed next month.
A Few Jobs to do now:
Hostas are looking great now, benefitting from the winter & spring rain, keep them looking good by being vigilent in your slug prevention & control.
Thin fruitlets on tree fruit, whilst the June Drop is the fruit tree’s natural method of shedding excess fruit, you often need to thin the crop further. Cooking Apples- 1 fruit every 6ins, desert apples to one or two fruits, pears to two fruits every4ins & plums to one fruit every 2ins. This improves fruit size & quality & as sun & air can penetrate there is even ripening.
Whilst we have had some welcome rain in the last few days, plants in pots, newly planted & fruit & veg requires consistent & regular watering. Remember, don’t waste water by splashing it onto the leaves, it can cause scorch or mildew, water around the roots. If water is running off very dry soil, create a moat to keep the water in place.
- Thin out hardy annuals. Be brutal – most of them (cornflowers, nigellas and English Marigolds included) benefit from spacing 30cm (1ft) apart. Use pea sticks to support taller varieties.
- Next spring’s biennials, such as wallflowers and honesty, need time to establish. Both can be sown now, direct into a seedbed, spaced a couple of inches apart. Thin in three or four weeks to 30cm (1ft), and transplant to their flowering position in early autumn. If you are short of space these will be perfectly happy in pots in a sheltered spot until the autumn when they can then be planted in their final positions.
- Deadheading flowers as they go over this month can result in a second flowering.
- Huge-flowered oriental poppies have finished flowering. Cut everything back to ground level, leaving no foliage standing. Feed mulch and give them a good dousing of water and the new foliage will grow back soon
- Cut back delphiniums, right to the ground, leaves as well as old flower spikes. If you do this now, almost all plants will give you a second flush of Deadhead roses as often as you can now they’re flowering at full tilt. Snip off their browning heads to a bud or leaf below to help promote the formation of axillary buds, then more flowers will follow. Rambling and climbing roses will be growing rapidly so tie them in regularly as close to the horizontal as possible.
- At this time of year, stems of mint will produce roots within a week if cut and placed in water. They can then be planted up, ideally in pots to contain their spread.
“There is no beginning and no end to a garden, it is a set of processes, not a product. This is what I love , this complex, interdependent evolution where you need to employ everything you have – experience, a little knowledge, craft, science, art and wherever you can a dash of poetry. Not to mention a lot of luck!” Carol Klein.
“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” Margaret Atwood
Stay safe and healthy,