JOHN’S JOURNAL

The Beauty of White Flowers…..

The Beauty of White Flowers…..

The colours which you use in planting combinations can have a real effect on to the overall impact of a scheme, especially in different positions. Plants with white flowers or white in their foliage can look very dramatic when grouped together, this works well in a sunny position and also very well in the shade.

Down by The Beck at the nursery around the Croft Pod you will see a scheme simply made up of purples, blues, mauves and pinks, we have then used all the white plants on the darker side of the area below a new large stone retaining wall, Hydrangea Limelight running along the back with Hosta Francee in front, with its white edged green leaves, and then white Astrantia along with white Astilbe as highlights. Now the Hydrangeas are in full bloom complimenting the leaves of the Hostas, and in Spring it will be a sea of white when the white Narcissus burst into flower. So often less is more in flower beds using the repetition of certain plants or you can repeat the whole scheme. In a larger bed, stick to 3s for impact and grouping, and in a smaller bed you can go with individuals again repeated, like we have in the narrow beds around the pod.

White schemes will always lift a dark corner and with Hydrangeas and Hostas both loving shade they are 2 of the main counterparts for a scheme, then incorporate other whites to combine with them, at the nursery you will find a frame simply with ‘White Plants’ in to help you choose and as I say it’s quite strange how such a simple decision can have such a large impact on the overall feel of the planting.

Senecio ‘Angels Wings’ is another new plant we started growing at HC last year with its huge silver leaves, evergreen throughout most of the Winter before dying back and re-emerging in the Spring, its low growing as well so a perfect partner to grow next to taller free standing plants helping set them off. Also don’t be scared to bring a blush of pink into a white scheme with Erigeron karvinskianus bearing masses of daisy like white and pink flowers from May through until October

Purple Heucheras can also compliment white flowers with their rich purple foliage with airy white flowers held above their evergreen leaves, great for Winter interest and structure! Finally the Frameyard at the nursery is filled with flowers from the growing field and as a thank you to all of you for your support there is a free plant voucher at the bottom of this page which you can use to select one of our home-grown perennials and take it home with you, helping spread a little love and colour around the Ribble Valley.

 

 Q AND A

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

 How do I dry cut flowers?

Now is the perfect time of year to think about drying flowers and seed heads for decoration throughout the Winter months. Cut them and tie them in bunches hanging them upside down, this then sends the remaining sap downwards into the flower head helping preserve some of the colour and preventing it withering up. Then they will be perfect for using in arrangements this winter with the remaining colour really standing out amongst other winter plants and seed heads.

 What do I use for Box Blight?

Box blight is prevalent at this time of year and now is also a perfect time to treat it. In any affected areas get in and give the leaves a good old rustle and then remove them from the ground into a bag and remulch. Then apply a spray of buxus health mix and at the same time combine a buxus moth spray as well as these are 2 of the enemies for Box plants, Make a note to repeat this monthly throughout the growing season along with feeding in the Spring and late Summer and that way your box hedging and topiary will be kept nice and happy

 My Hydrangeas haven’t flowered?

The Spring frosts back in April really set back the Hydrangeas which are frost sensitive like H.maculata and serrata, the ones with the more rounded foliage and bigger glossier leaves. They also always bear their buds for next year in the previous year’s growth so now feed them for displays next year, don’t trim them till the end of May when you will see the emerging flowers. H. paniculatas are totally different though and we have a wide array available at the nursery, they flower on new wood and are fully frost resistant

1 – Apply Box Sprays

Now is the perfect time to apply blight and moth sprays to help keep you’re your box plants looking their best

2– Spring Bulbs

Time to start thinking about buying your Spring bulbs, don’t forget to include Alliums for adding drama to your borders!

3 –Check Hedges

Before you trim your hedges just check for any nesting birds which may have made it their home, they will soon fly the nest

4 – Plant Autumn Bulbs

Nerines and Colchicums are beautiful for adding shades of pink to the Autumn garden, coming back every year and now is the perfect time to plant

5 – Strawberry Runners

Carefully lift and plant rooted strawberry runners into new beds to form strong plants for next year

6 – Plant Pots

You can combine all sorts of perennials in pots and either plant them out in the Autumn or keep them in pots for next year overplanting with bedding

Thalictrum Splendide White

Looking very similar to Gypsophylla with its pom-pom like clouds of flowers. Great for an open aspect in a normal soil, mix in organic matter when planting and it’s beautiful throughout the summer months.