Monty is delighted. The Meconopsis he bought at the Malvern Spring Show last year are now in full bloom. Beautiful though they are, they have a reputation for not being the easiest of plants to succeed with. They originate from the high mountainous regions of the Himalayas, China and Tibet, where they experience deep snow cover in winter and monsoon rainfall during their flowering period in summer. Not everybody has the right conditions and to succeed is a triumph.First-time growers guide
If you would like to ‘give them a go’ then the link below provides excellent first-time grower information.
Spring is done and what to do with the tulips? A question many of us are asking ourselves at the moment. They look messy and will they flower again?More on tulips and tulip care
The best advice is to lift, dry, and store. Species tulips, those that are true wild tulips, can be left in the ground so that the bulb gets a bake by the summer sun. Some cultivars will flower again if left in the soil; these are usually tall, red or yellow in colour, and have inherited species characteristics, which allows re-flowering to happen. But, for the large Dutch cultivars we plant in our gardens for spring colour, it is best to lift them just as the foliage begins to show signs of dieback. Keep foliage and bulb intact and line them out to dry, on or under a bench in a dry airy place. The energy in the foliage will be reabsorbed back into the bulb. Once dry, old foliage can be cleaned away and the bulbs can be stored in paper bags till planting time. If you grow tulips in pots for a spring display, it is always best to order new bulbs as these have been graded for size, which will guarantee a full and even display. Stored bulbs can be planted out into the garden where any unevenness will be less revealing.
Perhaps the annual climber we are all most familiar with is the sweet pea. But there are many more, their exotic forms and colours add pizazz to summer borders. Monty has decided to add morning glories and cup-and-saucer vine to the pots in the Walled Garden. Annual climbers are ideal for growing up and through trees and shrubs, and can be used to disguise unsightly walls and fences. They are prodigious in their growth and will continue to flower until the first frosts bite. Monty creates a wigwam of hazel sticks to give height and provide support for his display.More on annual climbers
Annual climbers are usually grown from seed under protection in spring then planted out once the soil and weather has warmed up. If you have not yet sown any seed, garden centres usually have a good selection of young plants, and some annual climbers like morning glories can be grown from seed right now.
For a good list of annual climbers you might like to try, eg the Chilean glory flower or the purple bell vine and canary creeper, click on the link below.
GARDENS TO VISIT THIS WEEKEND
If you live in London, or are planning a trip to the capital this weekend, the Open Garden Squares Weekend should be a ‘must see’ on your places to visit list. This year over 200 gardens across the capital will be opening their gates to the public. The gardens range from historically grand private squares, to community allotments and roof gardens. For details visit the link below.Open Garden Squares Weekend
JOBS FOR THE WEEKEND: PRUNE BOX HEDGES AND TOPIARY
Derby Day, during the first week of June, is traditionally the day to begin clipping box hedging and topiary. The first flush of new growth is underway and the frosts are over. Clipping will smarten up the clean lines of hedging and promotes tight, dense growth. A second cut can be carried out in late August giving time for new growth to harden up before the onset of winter.More on growing and pruning box
JOBS FOR THE WEEKEND: PLANT OUT TENDER VEGETABLES
Now that fear of frost has passed it is time to plant out tender vegetables. Squashes, pumpkins, courgettes and sweetcorn, once hardened off, can be planted into their final growing positions.More on growing vegetables
If you have not grown-on any plants, many garden centres now supply a wide range of vegetables grown as plugs or young plants.
JOBS FOR THE WEEKEND: PRUNE EARLY FLOWERING CLEMATIS
Early flowering clematis (Group1) can be pruned once flowering has finished. Group1 are the species clematis and their cultivars like Clematis montana, C. alpina and C. macropetala. A light trim is all that is needed to bring them back under control. With a mature plant, some main stems can be reduced to near ground level to promote fresh new growth from the base. By pruning now, the new growth will have time to harden-off before the end of the season - it is on this mature wood that next season’s flowers will develop.More on pruning clematis
- Series Producer
- Liz Rumbold
- Monty Don
- Carol Klein
- Rachel de Thame
- Louise Hampden