Gardeners’ Blog – June 2017

June is the time for roses and all things sweetly scented.

Our new additions to the rose garden are putting on growth, you can actually see them grow. Last year’s replacements have bulked up tremendously and will be full of flowers over the coming month. We are keeping a vigilant eye on them and combating disease and pests as soon as they are seen, before they take hold. This includes feeding on a regular basis to keep them healthy and growing and spraying with fungicide as soon as necessary.

The Rhododendron Walk is particularly colourful at the moment, with so many in flower. There is, also, an abundance of primulas in a glorious shade of pink. This has self-set itself wherever it is damp enough.

We are keeping a watchful eye on our lilies looking out for the bright red lily beetle. These beetles can decimate a whole bed of lilies in a few days. The most successful method of control is checking the plants every couple of days and removing any beetles by hand, and squashing them. Watch out for the piles of lily beetle pooh in which they lay their eggs. So far, our lilies on the Wilson Walk are looking good.

The Herbaceous Border is bludgeoning with new growth, we gave the ‘Chelsea Chop’ ( the cut back plants flower slightly later and at a shorter height) to half the phlox and are now waiting to see the results. The catalpa to the rear of the bed was stooled (cut back to within 12 inches from the ground). This encourages new vigorous growth from the base and much larger leaves. The new growth is already showing a deep red, and will form an interesting back drop to part of the border. The new section is now completely replanted with the silver stream of Artemesia running through it.   Plans are well in hand for the larger section and it has been sprayed a second time with herbicide.

The gunneras in the Bog Garden are putting on a huge amount of growth; you will soon be able to walk under them. Whilst you are in the Bog Garden you might notice the new work being carried out to create an area to grow carnivorous plants outside. If you are interested in carnivorous plants see our excellent blog on them.

The Alpine Yard is full of colour and the display in the Alpine House is changing daily.

The bedding plants have all been planted and they will need regular watering, feeding and dead heading. The car park is looking particularly zingy with the yellow/green artemsia, pink argyranthemums and the deep red salvias.

We have still to plant out the dahlias on the Terrace, but rest assured they will be very colourful later in the year, as will the salvias that have taken their place in the Grass Garden.

And, apart from all this we will be busy weeding and mowing as often as we can.

The indoor team will be propagating new plants for the display glasshouses in our plant nursery. Seeds will be sown and cuttings will be taken of many rare and unusual plants, many kindly given to us from various botanical gardens via index seminum or ‘seed lists’. This helps us to replace or reinvigorate old plants and to consistently better our plant collection with new plants, which is already the most diverse in the Midlands. Our popular Pelargonium (‘geranium’) collection in the Mediterranean House will also be propagated from cuttings. This ensures that every plant can be replaced every year and keeps the display looking fresh.

 Come and see!