JOHN’S JOURNAL

Summer Colour in The Garden

We had a great week down at The RHS Tatton Park Flower Show and coming away with a Gold Medal for our Courtyard Garden was a great feeling! The stand was packed with colour and being right at the front of the floral marquee you couldn’t miss us! We also had a little play around with the colour schemes this year on our display and when you’re buying plants in flower during the summer months it’s something you can also do when you place them in your own garden at home!

It’s surprising just how many plants there are yet to flower, yes it’s an early year and we’re a good week or so ahead of last year thanks to the nice lack of Spring frosts in May but it’s always a time of year where some peoples gardens will go very green, a lot of colour is always focussed around the Spring and early Summer months but why is this? Well it’s simple, that’s often the time you’re visiting garden centres and nurseries to buy your plants! It’s easy to walk by a pot of green leaves with no flowers or many shoots, yet now these are the ones stacked full of buds and bursting into flower, so it is always so important to think about your seasons. Flower beds should be a lattice of seasons, Spring plants amongst Summer plants with Autumn plants threaded in between, and some plants have the ability to reflower so always remove any spent blooms and either rely on the spring feed of Vitax Q4 or apply a Tomato liquid feed to help boost them.

The Anthemis were a real delight in our show garden, with their primrose yellow flowers threaded through blues and purples with a highlight of orange nearby, they really worked, the crazy Daisies are also one of my favourites with their crazy flowers looking like they’re having a bad hair day and these were complemented by the pastel shades of the Monarda flowers, commonly known as the Bergamot these are also a Bee magnet! Beauty of Cobham with its soft pink flowers complimented by Fireball with its ruby red as a highlight worked really well in our show garden.

Don’t be scared of giving some plants a little support either, sometimes the Verbena bonariensis plants can grow that tall they need a little helping hand, a short bamboo cane and some string is adequate and it will help keep them nice and vertical.

It’s a great time of year at Holden Clough with the plant year really peaking and so much to follow so as a thankyou for all your support and a little encouragement to pay us a visit please find a free plant voucher at the bottom of this page, redeemable with a visit to the nursery and you can then pick yourself a free plant! There’s thousands of plants to choose from all grown outside in our growing field

 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

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

My Crocosmias aren’t flowering?

There’s still time yet but they also appreciate being dug up, thinned out and replanted every 3 years. Do this in the Autumn as soon as they have died back and if any corms are in strings then keep the top few together, then replace them splitting them up into clumps with some space in between, also mix in some rotted organic matter and they will bounce back and be full of flowers next Summer.

What fertiliser is best for flowering plants?

Firstly make sure you don’t go near the bags of growmore, miracle grow or chicken pellets! This is the polar opposite to what these plants need, as with this the nitrogen levels are too high and they will produce long leafy stems with little focus on the flowering, Vitax Q4 is the best choice and this can be applied in March/April or if you haven’t done so you can get into your beds and apply it now around the base of the plants, 1 handful per square metre. Lots of perennials like Astilbes, Iris, Peonies and Hemerocallis to name a few are now beginning to produce their flower buds for next year already

What colour combinations are best?

In a shady spot whites and greens are very powerful, and also in large open spaces aswell, this can also be very contemporary. Blue, purple and white is also another great combination and you can add a highlight of blush pink. You can then also remove white from the scheme and blues, purples, mauves give a really moody feel then add a highlight of orange to pop in the summer or Autumn. Pink white and blue is a safe traditional scheme, and for orange, reds and yellow add some blue and purple to give depth and vibrancy!

 

JOBS FOR THE WEEKEND

 

Plant of The Week

Helenium ‘Wyndley’

A superb early flowering Helenium with coppery orange and yellow flowers. Great for growing in a sunny position or a west facing border. Plant with blues to add a contrast or combine with brown grasses for a coppery colour scheme. Easy to grow and it’s also self supporting.