Take Stock of Your Garden Successes and Failures
I know that New Year is the traditional time to stop and re-evaluate everything in your life but I reckon now, as summer ends, is also an ideal time to stop all that weeding, watering and worrying so you can look at your garden and decide what to do better next year. After all, you don’t need to rely on your memory if all your faults and successes are there, straight in front of your eyes.
Weeds – Nature’s Opportunists
Nature is a wonderful thing. Here we are, at the time of writing, and it’s baking hot, sunny every day and we are all flagging. Plants are getting droopy, hosepipe bans loom large and after-sun sales are out of this world. But some plants are loving it. Weeds.
Watering Your Garden in a Heatwave
It’s hot and getting hotter.
Most people love this hot weather and revel at the thought of at least another fortnight of the stuff as ice cream sales, BBQ charcoal and Prosecco sales go through the roof. But, for me, the decline in slug activity is the main positive from this heatwave. Yep, always the gardener.
A Proper Chelsea Belter
It was an honour and privilege to visit the RHS Chelsea Flower show on press day. It gave me a fantastic chance to get up close to the gardens and plants (and some celebs as well) and appreciate the excellence in horticulture everyone produced. And truly, it was excellent.
The recent cold weather has taken its toll on some plants.
I was worried for my own fresh young shoots on lupins but they seemed to have come through unscathed. I have however spotted some phormiums and yuccas that have been knocked about a bit. Time for action.
I'm out of them. The doldrums. They are a thing of the past. A recent memory but one consigned to yet another autumn start up. My bulbs are in. The leaves are a-fluttering, a-dancing and annoyingly settling on the lawn. But, most importantly, my skip is in place.
If a plant can colonise the flanks of a volcano it sure is going to love growing in an average back garden or near a gentle stream. For a plant to shove its root into just-cooled magma then, let's face it, a clay soil or tarmac drive is going to be a cinch. A plant that creates such havoc and terror surely deserves its own tracking-app. Japanese knotweed is that plant.
This is the best time of year to analyse your garden and see where things can be improved. It’s when gaps appear in beds and borders, crops tussle with each other for space and the panes in the greenhouse crack under the ever-burgeoning force of foliage, flowers and fruit.
Of course, I would like to say that my own plot is perfect. I’d like to say that but I would be lying. This is, after all, gardening and we all
Gardening is great – obviously, or you and I wouldn't be here now - but sometimes a day away is also nice. However, the garden is never far away even when trundling down the M1 towards the home of cricket (for what would eventually result in a rather historic game). A rather urgent comfort break included a much-needed coffee.
You are Not Alone
Just when you think it is safe to walk around the garden, brew in hand to inspect and admire your efforts, you notice a gnarled shoot on your lupins. Suddenly your roses look sticky, holes are noticed in potato leaves and your lily buds are nibbled.
Nature at its nastiest. Your garden may need a helping hand.