JOHN’S JOURNAL

Dealing with the English Weather

After a week or so of rain it’s lovely to see a few dry days again and with more on the horizon and the fuel hick-up behind us it’s time to get out and about again, the change in the seasons is always a funny time, with the garden feeling like it’s on the wind down and the night’s drawing in it’s not time to shelter yet though, it’s time to embrace the nice days when they come our way.

Soggy leaves lace the paths and lawn and they make perfect compost heap fodder, rotting down into fantastic compost and the perfect counterpart when carrying out new planting in your flower beds, so gather them up and if you have the luxury of a leaf blower you can herd them into a corner ready for collection, a compost heap only needs to be as simple as a heap, when you fill it seasonally that’s the time to make some dividers and keep your heaps separated, turning them every so often.

It’s surprising just how many plants are still in flower, with the Japanese Anemones in full swing with their beautiful dainty flowers in every shade of pink along with pure white they are a beautiful highlight in the Autumn garden, give them a little space as they are easy to grow and will happily spread and fill a corner, or keep them happy in the constraints of a pot or container, they thrive in sun or dry shade, so can often fill a gap tricky for others to grow in.

Don’t tire of dead heading other perennials either as the month of October can be a fine one, with more growing weeks ahead of us and fingers crossed for some warm temperatures plants can continue to bloom if encouraged to do so, look at also cutting flowers for drying before they deteriorate in any wet weather, either hang upside in bunches out of direct light or place in a vase of water helping them absorb just enough water whilst they start drying out, Hydrangea blooms are perfect for adding into Winter wreaths along with other seed heads, Fennel with its large structural seed heads is perfect for filling the corner of a room and it dries beautifully.

It’s also the perfect time of plant your bulbs for next year, lacing the garden with surprises ready for next Spring, Tulips in pots and containers, Daffodils and Alliums in the borders, and choice dwarf varieties for the edges of the flower beds with beautiful Muscari and Iris galore, it’s a beautiful time of year, time to reflect, plan and enjoy the beautiful happenings all around us

 

 

Q AND A

Here you can send in and find out the answers to those gardening problems

 

Can I move plants now?

Perennials can happily be dug up, divided and replanted, shrubs and trees wait until into November once deciduous plants have lost their leaves and evergreens begin to fall dormant, then move them to a new home, trim off any excess growth to help balance up any root loss and they will then settle in over the winter months.

 

How do I propagate Verbena?

Verbena is one of the most beautiful ad structural perennials out there yet it does require a bit more extra work than some, let it set seed in the Autumn and then look out for the seedlings next May, pot them up and plant them out in late June, or leave them to grow themselves. Another way is to take some cuttings now from shoots lower down on the plant, place around the edge of a flower pot and they will root, then pot up in the Spring and plant out in June. It’s perfectly frost hardy it just gets a little woody and thrives on rejuvenation from young plants giving height, structure and colour to any planting, perfect for repeating as a thread.

 

How do I stop Box Moth?

If you have moth you will find patches of your box plants full of cobwebs and the leaves nibbled, it’s easy to stop, just get in there and shake out any debris, don’t trim it out as it can normally re shoot, then apply a box moth spray, we have some in the Potting Shed at the nursery and we also sell the blight sprays to prevent this, then make a note to do it in April, June and August annually.

 

 

 

 

1 – Deadheading

Continue to deadhead perennials and give a liquid feed with tomato food to encourage some final blooms

2 – Plan New Features

After a season in your garden plan new features to carry out as winter projects bringing something new to your garden for 2022

3 – Trim Topiary

Give topiary its final trim for the year and feed with topiary feed to green it up for the winter

4 – Clean the Greenhouse

It’s often a time when the greenhouse begins to empty so have a good square up and give it a clean down ready for any overwintering plants

5 –Cuttings

Take cuttings off any perennials and also shrubs so they root during the Autumn ready for potting up in the Spring

6 – Gather Leaves

Collect fallen leaves and pile them on the compost heap to make valuable compost over the coming seasons