As summer unfolds at Longmeadow, Monty Don undertakes timely tasks in his vegetable garden and flower beds. Meanwhile, Carol Klein enjoys the beauty of one of our unsung native flowers, the geum, and visits a cottage garden which holds the national collection of cultivated forms.
Plus, Formula 1 supremo Sir Frank Williams explains why he is opening his garden at Inholmes as part of the National Garden Scheme Festival Weekend.
Geums are easy to grow, flower for a long time and look great planted amongst other perennials in a border. Their basal clusters of leaves are semi-evergreen, forming useful ground cover in winter.
Most geums need light shade and a moisture retentive soil. The nodding flowers of Geum rivale benefit from particularly shady spots with continually moist soil; G. chiloense loves sunshine, so long as the soil stays moist, while alpine types such as G. montanum thrive in more free-draining, open sites.
Geums rarely suffer from pests and disease. Tips for success include dividing clumps every three to four years and deadheading your favourite cultivars to prevent less desirable seedlings springing up amongst them.
Garden visited: Inholmes
Inholmes is the garden of Formula One’s racing supremo, Sir Frank Williams and was created by his late wife, Lady Virginia Williams.
Woodlands St Mary
The garden is open on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th June from 12pm until 4pm as part of the National Garden Scheme Festival Weekend.
More than 4,000 gardens, great and small, open throughout the year for the NGS, with 800 of them open for the Festival Weekend. Money raised goes to charity.
To find a garden open near you during the National Garden Scheme Festival Weekend, log on to the NGS website.
Jobs for the weekend: Neaten up hedges
Although it’s best to leave major hedge-trimming for another few weeks to allow birds time to leave the nest, you’d be amazed at the difference a little judicious pruning of vertical surfaces makes, especially on entrances and exits. Just trim them so they’re crisp and it will tighten up the whole garden.
Jobs for the weekend: Plant out courgettes
The nights are now warm enough to plant out courgettes with confidence. They will grow well in the soil or in containers if you enrich your growing medium with some garden compost or well-rotted manure. Plant only one plant per large container, put it in a sunny position and water well for harvests right through into late summer.
Jobs for the weekend: Take softwood cuttings
Now is a good time to take cuttings from deciduous shrubs, like Fuchsia or Philadelphus. Choose a new shoot that has no flower buds on it and remove it by cutting beneath a leaf node. Strip off the lower leaves and push the cuttings into free-draining compost. Water them and place them in a sheltered position and they’ll be ready to pot on in autumn or next spring, once roots have formed.
|Series Editor||Liz Rumbold|