As we write this article today on gardens the weather is absolutely terrible. We have now had continuous rain for the last two days, and it certainly does not look like it’s going to let up any time soon. The grounds and gardens certainly need this rainfall, and the farmer’s crops too as they have already started their watering regime. All this rain will certainly benefit the soft fruit crops that are now coming into season.
We had planned on getting into the garden this bank holiday but that’s a bit of a wash out now, not only the rain, but also the weather has knocked out the electric supply, which has been non-existent for the past seven hours. Still the last holiday weekend was glorious so we should not complain.
Nothing to report on Rusty our dog this week, except for his unrelenting appetite for chasing a ball up and down the garden, he will keep this up for as long as you throw the ball for him. If he thinks you are ignoring him, he will give you a gentle nudge to remind you he is there, if this doesn’t work you get the sad eye treatment and a paw, which is so hard to ignore, he really has honed this to a fine point with great success, with friends and family falling for it all the time! If this fails you then have the ball placed under your feet, so that you trip over it so many times you end up throwing it to get some peace and quiet- clever devious dog hey. We will have to look into one of those practice tennis ball machines I think.
Your gardens should now just about be in full flight with all the different shades of colour, shapes, sizes and textures, greeting your excited and expecting eyes, when looking and noticing the never-ending changes in every part of the garden. I hope like us you love and notice how the evolving flowers colours start off in a vibrant form, inviting guests to their nectar, and as they progress down their life cycle the changes of colour as the flower dies, when the formation of reproducing itself takes on all its vigour. Wonderful. This is just like a living painting, instead of using paint and brushes; you need water and fertiliser to achieve your desired effect and creating your very own living ‘John Constable’ paintings.
By now you should have purchased your bedding plants if you have not propagated your own, so that you have a great choice and variety.
Always prepare the ground well before planting either by digging the areas over with a garden or small planting fork. Remove any weeds and roots you find and make sure you get the soil easily workable, breaking down any large clumps.
A good tip for heavy or clay ground is to add a soil improver, which can usually be obtained from your local amenity site, if not, just by adding sharp sand and digging well into the clay will help to break it down leaving a fine tilth.
When planting the bedding plants it is helpful if you use a water- retaining agent, this is readily obtainable at garden centres and hardware stores and slow release fertiliser. You can actually buy these products combined together now so just check the instructions on the packaging. By placing this in and around the bottom of the planting holes and containers, you have less need of watering so often and longer lasting show winning blooms to be proud of. This is a far better method of fertilising than spray feeding as the roots are encouraged down deeper into the ground instead of near the surface, giving a better stable plant.
Lawns should be fully revived from the parched weeks we had recently. If you had need to re-seed areas, you should certainly take the clear plastic off and allow the natural elements to work their wonders. Give a couple of weeks and you should not even be able to see where the bare patches were as they will blend in to give a lush green texture or in the words of Tom Jones “The green, green grass of home”- sorry!
Our banana plants are looking great and growing at a fantastic rate, and needless to say absolutely adore this rain. This year was the earliest yet we have had to uncover them, and it was not with out great concern.
We were torn between leaving them covered and risk them rotting off from sweating, as the weather was so unusually hot this year in march, or uncovering them and risking the frosts that are still abundant at that time of the year. We could easily see that they had started their growth spurt, as the covering had started to become taut and bulge.
So we decided to uncover them, and were amazed at just how large the new leaves were and contorted in their very refined space. W e just love the banana plant, it truly is a magnificent focal point in any garden with its exotic leaves.
We have now had our first banana plant for four years, it was quite small when we bought it but now proudly stands at least 12 feet tall, and has a huge canopy. And so can you see our problem now.
When a hard frost is forecast, I just usually cover the leaves over with a bin liner and peg it secure so that the wind does not blow it off, but at the size it is now, it’s easier said than done. So standing on steps with a broom up a bin liner makes an unusual sight, especially when it’s windy. It’s a good job the neighbours do not take a second look any more.
What is really great is that the banana plant readily reproduces itself, so now we are the proud owner of four plants. Four times the fun when frosts are due! They really give a tropical feel to the garden, and are one of the first plants people always comment on.
There is only one down side to the location we live in with the banana plants, and that is the wind. At first we used to get upset that the wind would shred the leaves, seeming as if the weather knew the minute the new leaf opened up, but now the plants are larger it does not seem to matter, and in fact adds to their attraction.
Enjoy your gardens
Source by Ted Wosko