ROSES: CLIMBERS & RAMBLERS
Climbing and rambling roses have put on a tremendous amount of growth this year, as a result of all the rain we’ve had. They’ve absolutely loved it! If the thorny shoots are now getting in the way, you’re probably itching to give them a haircut. But when is the best time to do this? It all depends on whether you have a climber or a rambler. If you don’t know what you’ve got, here’s a quick guide.More on pruning rambling roses
Climbers tend to have stiff, upright growth with large blooms that keep on coming all summer long. Examples include ‘Compassion’ and ‘Maigold’. They flower on the current season’s growth and so are best pruned in the winter when they are dormant. They are perfect for growing up a pergola or arch, or against a fence.
Ramblers, on the other hand, have a lax habit with long, arching branches. They are much more rampant than climbing roses and flower only once in June or July. They tend to have masses of small flowers and are great for growing up trees or against the side of a house. Examples include ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’ and ‘Wedding Day’. They flower on old wood and so are best given a quick tidy up in July or August after flowering. Leave it any later and there may not be enough time for the new growth to ripen before the cold weather arrives. Having said this, it’s probably best to wait until the winter if a major prune is required, especially if it is growing through a tree. Both the tree and the rose will have dropped their leaves, so it will be easier to see which branches need to get the chop. But don’t go too mad, or you’ll end up with no flowers at all next year!
Millgate HouseMillgate House
Tel. 01748 823571
Millgate House is well worth a visit if you’re in the area. It’s open every day from April to October, and if you’re a member of the RHS, you’ll get in for free. For further details, check out the website below.
This year, Monty has been impressed by an old French cordon tomato called ‘Merveille des Marchés’. It’s been around since the 19th century and can be bought as seed mail order. Cucumber ‘La Diva’ has also done well in his greenhouse. It’s an all-female variety that can be grown indoors or out.More on growing celery
On the veg plot, runner bean ‘White Lady’ and celery ‘Golden Self Blanching’ have both performed well. They’ve enjoyed the wet weather we’ve been having. In a hot, dry summer, they probably would have struggled.
Bennetts Water GardensBennetts Water Gardens
Tel. 01305 785150
Bennetts Water Gardens is open every day but Saturday from April to September. Click on the website below for more information.
Waterlilies make a beautiful addition to any pond and come in various shades of yellow, pink, red and white. Provided they are given a sunny spot in open, calm water, they should do very well. They vary greatly in their vigour, however, so it’s important to know the dimensions of your pond (particularly the depth) before you go and buy one. Here are Jonathan Bennett’s top ten recommendations – the waterlily expert Carol met in Dorset. In each case, the colour of the flowers and the optimum planting depth are given in brackets.More on growing waterlilies
Barbara Dobbins (peach, 30-60cm deep)
Escarboucle (bright red, 45-100cm deep)
Gloire du Temple-sur-Lot (double pale pink, 30-75cm deep)
Gonnère (double white, 25-50cm deep)
Hermine (white, 30-75cm deep)
James Brydon (deep pink, 25-50cm deep)
Joey Tomocik (deep yellow, 40-60cm deep)
Marliacea Chromatella (yellow, 30-75cm deep)
Perry’s Baby Red (red, 20-40cm deep)
Pink Sensation (cerise pink, 30-75cm deep)
JOBS FOR THE WEEKEND: CONTROL CABBAGE WHITE CATERPILLARS
Caterpillars of the cabbage white butterfly can wreak havoc on the veg plot at this time of year. All brassicas are susceptible plus nasturtiums. To help protect your crop, it’s worth checking over your plants on a regular basis and removing any eggs or caterpillars that you find. The eggs of the large cabbage white are always found in groups, whereas those of the small cabbage white are laid one at a time.More on cabbage white caterpillars
JOBS FOR THE WEEKEND: KEEP CUTTING SWEET PEAS
Sweet peas really do benefit from being cut on a regular basis. If they’re allowed to set seed, that will be the end of the display. At Longmeadow, Monty cuts his sweet peas every ten days.More on growing sweet peas
JOBS FOR THE WEEKEND: MOVE POTS TO THE SHADE
Plants grown in pots and hanging baskets are very prone to drying out, so if you plan to go away at all over the summer, it’s worth asking a neighbour to come and water them for you. Alternatively, move them to the shade where they will hopefully remain damper for longer.More on growing plants in containers
- Series Producer
- Liz Rumbold
- Monty Don
- Carol Klein
- Louise Hampden