Latest posts by Wintersong

June in Your Garden!

Posted: 23/06/2012 at 22:37

 The bright pink Cistus and lilac Chives are a mistake in this bed that is mostly yellows and the orange side of red. I'll also be replacing the Crocosmia for lady ferns as well as extending some of the planting to make bigger drifts.


Hebe Help!!

Posted: 23/06/2012 at 14:38

I have a very overgrown small leaf Hebe in my front garden that I forgot to prune for ten years. Some idiot threw a lump of concrete into its centre a few weeks back, breaking all the branches and leaving it less than rotund in shape.

So, I took the opportunity to prune it hard back, taking three layered plants from its base (where the branches touch the ground and root themselves)  in case my plan failed. I cut back half the branches quite radically and left the other half intact to see if it would flower and also to reduce stress for the plant.

Since then, it has successfully broken bud on the hard pruned branches and I shall be pruning the rest after flowering, which is the usual time to prune small leaved Hebes into shape.

Cut it back now if you don't mind losing the flowers, otherwise imediately after flowering is also a good time. Hebes can be slightly tender, so you want to give the plant plenty of good weather to make new leaf. They often suffer frost damage in late winter that can be cut out in late spring, but they are tough plants really and you shouldn't lose it.

A feed might be gratefully received if you are going to butcher it, just try not to rob it completely of leaf. If it needs a severe pruning, think of it as a two year job and do half this year and half next.

Gardening in Aberdeenshire

Posted: 23/06/2012 at 10:23

The size, variety and splendour of Monty's garden is staggering at times as with Carols too, but he's also been there +20 years and Carol has been at Glebe cottage +30 yrs. In all that time, soil improvement, landscaping and establishing plants have been key to their successes. Knowing their plot has helped them to understand what works and what doesn't. And one of the reasons I truly enjoy Monty's presentation on GW, is that he shares his failures too. If he's not some gardening genius who never gets it wrong, then I have hope that I may achieve something similar in my own garden.

Draw inspiration from the GW programs and tailor what they're doing to knowledge of your own plot. I live in Kent and yes things grow here in the summer, but that doesn't mean I don't meet challenges or watch some programs with very little relevance to my own garden. I've yet to add water, so the pond episode the other week was completely out of touch with me, yet I enjoyed it all the same, learning something along the way and enjoying the success of Monty's hard work that was shown last night. It doesn't mean I'm going straight off to dig a dirty great big pond in my garden, it wouldn't fit, but when the time comes for water, I can draw inspiration from what I saw.

As a side note, perhaps you are expecting too much from your veg if you grow them without protection so far north? I know not everyone can afford polytunnels but I'm not even bothering with outdoor tomatoes or peppers anymore and I live in the far south! blight gets mine every year!


What is this little bird please?

Posted: 23/06/2012 at 09:54
Robot wrote (see)

 Do you think mum is rearing the kids all by herself?

Well, if she is, she's doing a damn fine job of it. Congratulations on your garden that very obviously provides her with a bounty!

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 22/06/2012 at 23:18

@figrat, the whooooooosh bang is the sound the wind makes, at least where I live. Very gusty! Whooooooosh bang.

Is it ever going to STOP!!!!

Posted: 22/06/2012 at 23:13

I wouldn't say I was an official sufferer of SAD, but I strongly miss the sun during winter and have developed a strategy over the years that involves gritting my teeth, planning and painting my garden to get through the darkest months. I have files of photos and not just my garden, but hundreds of photos saved from the Internet that I just look at, to remember the greenness, and the warmth, and the energy.

Just after Christmas is the worst time for me because there is no distractions until spring, which I can smell in the air when it arrives. It's my favourite time of the year purely because there is so much promise and hope and freshness and I am in a frenzy of excitement to see what I will achieve in the garden that year.

The summer months I'm sure are the same as yours, full of long evenings spent in the garden, pottering around, drinking, chatting and soaking up every moment of beauty before it fades all too soon. Just looking at the lovely flowers and foliage fills my heart with love and peace, the smells are enchanting and the helpful insects and wildlife always an absolute pleasure to watch.

Autumn mystifies me with its colour changes, its fiery foliage, its woody remains, its dying breath, its slow slow dewy decay when the sun is still warm, the morning grass is soaking wet and seed heads and berries replace flowers. I love the amazing contrasts of foliage and the quiet demise, like waking from a spell, but I also know that long span of darkness is approaching and I prepare to knuckle down and grin and bear it once again.

I do hope we have enough sunny days to get through the coming winter, or we might all go a little mad.

Gardeners World - not back for 4 weeks!

Posted: 22/06/2012 at 22:50

It's outrageous and I am thoroughly disgusted in the BBC. They have four channels and a red button and our half hour of telly per week gets ditched every time!

Really BBC, it's NOT funny. Sort it out.


What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 22/06/2012 at 16:35

Kent is whoooooooooooosh bang!

June in Your Garden!

Posted: 21/06/2012 at 16:34

@Rob Stevens, its better to pack them in tight.

The Cosmos need pinching out regularly and I planted mine at 10 inchs apart but you could probably do even less since mine still flopped, especially in all this rain. They really need tall plant support or twiggy sticks.

The Cornflowers stood up unsupported and don't mind competing for space. I didn't thin mine out or even feed them and I still got hundreds of flowers.

The pic below shows Cosmos, cornflowers and Candula from late summer 2011. All plants were packed cheek by jowl.

 and here you can see the roots of the cornflower clump, I just let them mat together, the Achillia in front helped a bit. But I don't over winter any of them, I just collect seed or let them self seed.



What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 20/06/2012 at 22:56

Gorgeous sunshine in Kent today and yesterday. Felt like summer, rain is forecast for tomorrow 

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