twenty first March 2018 • In The Garden • Stephanie Donaldson
There are clear indicators that spring has arrived, although we presently have a short return to arctic climate. The furry catkins on the pussy willow are fattening and displaying silver, the primary few flowers are unfurling on the apricot tree (I worry they gained’t survive the chilly) and, in amongst the bulbs and rising perennials, the weeds have began rising. As soon as the east wind departs it’s the time to get out and take care of the annual weeds whilst you can nonetheless get on the borders – it truly is a case of a sew in time saves 9 – it’s fiddly work, however properly definitely worth the effort.
In good climate, I’ve been working my manner methodically by the borders:
· chopping again what stays of final yr’s development on perennials and the deciduous grasses
· weeding earlier than they get the higher hand
· pruning and manuring roses in addition to summer time and autumn flowering clematis
· tying in wall-trained timber and blackberries
· making use of mulches
· beginning to put plant helps in place
It’s satisfying work, turning scruffy borders into one thing rather more kempt. Common followers will know that I’m experimenting with a high dressing of low-nutrient, high-humus leaf mould relatively than nutrient-rich backyard compost. That is because the gardeners at Parham Park advised me that they’ve discovered that this produces sturdier, extra floriferous crops. So, what’s ok for Parham is sweet sufficient for me. As soon as that is carried out, I add a weed supressing mulch of composted bark beneath shrubs and within the woodland backyard, with Strulch (light-weight, mineralised straw mulch) on the borders. This may supress weeds and shield the crops from additional chilly within the brief time period and preserve moisture in the long run.
An previous hanging basket protects rising shoots This wire help could be pulled increased to help the leaves because the Iris sibirica grows
My favorite of all plant helps is twiggy hazel, however I’m discovering it more and more troublesome to get any, so I now have some extra long-lasting helps that assist maintain issues so as. I’ve simply purchased extra wire help rings from Hen & Hammock (£8.50 every) – the wire is looped by a chestnut stake that’s knocked into the bottom. I’ve discovered them excellent for paeonies, phlox and asters, giving discreet help. My first two of those are three years previous and present no signal of deteriorating. I’ve additionally ordered two bundles of birch pea sticks and can proceed searching for a supply of hazel, however within the meantime a minimum of a number of the taller perennials are assured to face tall.