Wednesday, 27 July 2016

July's Plant of the Month!

Good Morning!
Apologies for it being super quiet on this blog this month, the past couple of weeks have just been filled of following the recent checklist and constant watering due to the hot weather we've had recently!

The PLANT OF THE MONTH for July is ... Crocosmia 'Lucifer'
(This plant may also be known as Montbretia 'Lucifer')

This plant is happy in most soil types as long as it is moist but well drained, it will thrive well in any aspect except for the North and is happy in either Full Sun or Partial Shade.
Crocosmia 'Lucifer' can also cope with exposure to windy weather.

The total height and width for this plant is 0.1 - 0.5m which is great if you are wanting a little height in your borders at this time of year. 'Lucifer' forms clumps of narrow green leaf spikes along with spikes of funnel shaped flowers which flower from late July - September.
This plant is a Hardy Deciduous Perennial so it will die back to ground level over the winter.
Protection may be needed during particularly cold winters, simply cover the crown with a mulch to protect against Frost damage.

This plant can be propagated in the Spring time by dividing the forming clumps into smaller groups and re-planting just before the growth starts at a depth of approx 4inches.
There is no need to prune this plant.

Crocosmia 'Lucifer' is generally Disease free but may suffer attacks from the Glasshouse Red Spider Mite.


Friday, 8 July 2016

Bumper Garden Checklist ...

Good Morning!
Are you looking for something to do in the garden this weekend?
Well here's a few suggestions that should keep you busy ...

1. Tomatoes  - If like me you are growing tomatoes make sure that you keep removing the side shoots produced on the Cordon varieties. Simply snap them off first thing in the morning to make sure the plant focuses all it's energy elsewhere. Your tomatoes should also be starting to set fruit so it's time to give them a weekly feed with either diluted tomato feed or liquid seaweed.

2. Roses - The weather has been rather variable over the past weeks and rain battered Roses are a frequent sight in my garden! Keep up with the deadheading and if you see any rose buds that haven't opened yet with brown outer petals, gently tease away them away in a downwards movement and your rose might just get the chance to bloom! If left more often than not the decaying brown petals prevent the bud from opening.
A Rose in the centre ready for dead-heading

3. Sweet Peas - Another plant that could do with a little care is the garden favourite Sweet Pea. 
Give them a weekly feed and keep up with tying them in to the their supports. Pick flowers every few days and make sure you remove any seed pods once seen to prolong flowering. 
Summer Bedding in Pots and Hanging Baskets will also benefit from a liquid feed once a week to keep encouraging blooms and healthy growth.

4. Winter Cabbages - If you sowed some winter cabbages last month such as January King into pots it's time to plant them out into their final positions. If like me you sowed them under cover gently acclimatise them to the outdoor positions by hardening them off over 7 - 10 days. Once this has been done plant them out with a distance of approx 50cm in a sunny position and provide protection from birds in the form of netting or fleece. You can also place a collar around the stems to protect from cabbage root fly.

5. Bulbs - It's time to start planting Autumn bulbs such as Nerines into Pots & Borders and whilst your doing so why not start thinking about the Spring Bulbs that you would like to have next year. Plant companies are starting to send out catalogues so if you know what you want it's best to order them now before they're out of stock! The same goes for Spring Bedding.

6. Watering - Even if it rains make sure you keep up with watering, some plants such as Celery, Beans, Peas, Tomatoes can be extremely thirsty and will suffer if they do not get adequate water.
Newly planted Shrubs, Tree's and Perennials this year will also benefit from extra watering to help them become established.

7. Apples & Pears - If the weather is warm and not too wet you can prune out any branches on Apple & Pear Tree's that may be crossing, damaged or diseased. 
You can also thin out the apples on trees that may be malformed or damaged to encourage a healthier crop.

8. Cuttings - Plants such as Fuschias, Pelargoniums and other tender perennials can be tricky to over winter if you only have a small space. Why not take some cuttings now from your favourite plants? This way you only have to over winter a smaller plant reducing the amount of space needed. 
Even if over wintering isn't something that you've considered cuttings are great for if you simply want more of a particular plant for free! Simply click HERE for a variety of posts on Cuttings.

9. Hedges -If you have any Hedges or Confiers that are needing a trim then now is the time to do it, however always make sure that there are no nesting birds before starting.

10. Ponds - Finally if you have a garden pond keep on top of removing any blanketweed or algea. Make sure that you leave it on the edge of the pond for atleast 48hours afterwards so that any creatures within can make their way back into the pond or water feature.

Thanks for stopping by, don't forget you can find all the previous Checklists on the page tab above.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

June's Plant of the Month!

Good Morning!
I know that we are technically in the month of July now so I am a tad late with this post, but as the saying goes better late than never! 
The PLANT OF THE MONTH for June is or should I say was ... Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna'

Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna' can also be known as the Balkan clary 'Caradonna' and this particular Salvia is a Hardy Perennial.
(Salvia's can be Annuals, Biennials, Herbaceous, Evergreen or even Shrubs!) 
As you can see from the photo of the plant that I have in my garden it has upright stems or 'racemes' of violet flowers which flower throughout the Summer months with a scented greyish green foliage.
If you are someone that loves Bee's then this plant is a must for your garden!

This plant is happy in most soil types as long as it is well drained, facing any aspect although it may struggle a little in a North facing position. Happy in either Full Sun or Partial Shade it can also cope with exposure to windy weather. Once established this plant becomes drought tolerant in a sunny position.
The total height and width for this plant is 10-50cm which means it remains quite compact.
However this plant is deciduous which means it will lose it leaves over winter.

In regards to upkeep all you need to do is give it a little mulch of well - rotted compost or manure in Spring and prune away any faded flower stems to prolong flowering throughout the Summer months.

This plant is generally disease free but like most plants can suffer attacks from the usual culprits ... Slugs & Snails!