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It has been another lovely week in the garden, even if the rain shower we had early in the week was sadly not enough to get me out of any watering. This seems to have been an exceptional year for roses and they are looking absolutely glorious at the moment. Mind you everyone’s garden seems to be just full of flowers right now. In a bid to keep everything flowering for as long as possible we are deadheading roses, picking sweet peas but also beginning to cut some plants back. The Nepeta was tumbling everywhere and swamping other plants, so even though the bees and the cat were still enjoying it we have given it a serious haircut and feed, and it has already begun to grow back. The Centaurea montana has had the same treatment, along with some of the perennial geraniums including Geranium phaeum ‘Samobor’. There are other flowers which we are cutting back, not to stimulate new growth and more flowers but to stop them in their bid for world domination! In my own garden Nigella, opium and Californian poppies, lupins, Aquilegia and Calendula would take over every inch of bed and gravel if I let them. I do love Nigella seed heads, so to be honest I often miss the moment when they lift their lids a little and shake out their seeds. I end up weeding out the seedlings in the spring if they are in completely the wrong place, but most of them stay put and are flowering happily right now.
In the veg patch we have now filled the brassica cage with different kales as well as kohl rabi and cauliflower. We have just spotted the first Cabbage White butterflies in the Walled Garden so we have been making sure there are no holes or gaps in the netting. No doubt some of them will squeeze through and we will soon be on caterpillar watch. We have put as many courgettes and squash as we dare into the Rhino GrowBeds. These raised beds are big (6x6ft) but we know that four squash plants will soon fill them and overflow on to the gravel. Finally this week we have planted out little leek plants. We can’t wait to show students all of this planting as well as the soil improving and plant protection measures when they come back to the Walled Garden in the coming weeks.
We are beginning to look at ways to start courses again in a safe way. We’ll be launching a summer programme this coming week which will include many of the courses we had to cancel during lockdown, plus some new ones. Do let us know you if you are interested in joining us. We’ll add you to our mailing list and let you know when courses can be resumed.
Plant of the Week
This is a beautiful herbaceous perennial which has erect, lupin-like violet blue flowers from early summer then has dramatic dark grey seedpods which can be picked into late autumn. The grey-green, trifoliate leaves turn coal black after the first frost. Best grown in open, porous, preferably sandy soil in full sun, this plant grows to 1.2m and forms a clump which can be divided in spring.