MY BIRTHDAY was spent planting the flowers I bought from the Gardeners World Live event in Birmingham.
I loved the whole day at the event and even had a look around the Good Food show and tried a spinach smoothie, which was okay.
The Floral hall was amazing, with flowers that I have never heard of – two types of a tall Trifolium. I was astounded by their unusual flowers and went to buy them, only to be told they had sold out.
I then moved on to the begonia stand – they were the biggest I have ever seen, so of course I bought some. But to my disappointment hey have been touched by the cold since I planted them.
I don’t blame the cold entirely because it hasn’t been that cold. I think they have been grown in a greenhouse not hardened off properly, the difference in temperatures has hit them fairly hard.
I am sure they will come back but will flower later than the other tuberous begonias I have grown myself, which are flowering and looking healthy.
My favourite plants I bought at the show were Heuchera – they are a big favourite of mine.
I love the purple leaf types, so I bought Plum Pudding, which has dark purple leaves which stand out so much. The other two were slightly lighter purple, Purple Petticoat and Amethyst Mist.
Next year they will look stunning when they are established.
Perennials always look better in their second year, unless you pay extra and buy a well established perennial, but the price does mount up.
The new beds we planted at Sewerby in October to attract wildlife are looking lovely and the bees are loving the lavenders, delphiniums and many more wildlife plants we planted.
But I will be adding bedding plants to the borders to fill some of the gaps because the border in their first season will fill out even more next season, so the gaps will get less and less.
I remember the wonderful garden of Scampston near Rillington being criticised a lot by gardeners because, when they opened the gardens, they were very sparsely planted, especially the perennials and grasses.
I thought so as well, even though I knew in time the borders would look gorgeous. We visited the gardens two years ago and the perennial borders were looking fantastic and full with no gaps.
If you are planting perennials, plant them in threes or fives for more effect, rather than just in ones or twos. You can plant perennials any time of the year.
The best time to plant is autumn, so they get time to root before winter sets in.
Planting in spring is fine, you just have to be careful we don’t have a really warm but a early spring and the new growth of the perennials become lush then suddenly in Spring the weather changes and becomes a lot colder with frosts. The young shoots of perennials can be hit hard and sometimes die.
If you do plant in summer they should be okay. If we have warm and hot summer you will have to water them fairly often and feed them well. As I write, the weather has been warm but with some showers, so newly planted plants have benefited.
Gardening Tip – Dead head summer bedding plants if they go to seed. Use seaweed feed on plants and nettle liquid feed on tomatoes. Tomorite is also good for both. Happy gardening!