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GARDENING IN JULY 2008

BY

PAM PICKARD

Rudebeckia

Welcome!
This column aims to give you useful information and handy tips to help to inspire you in your gardening endeavours. This month includes an article for the water conscious gardener.

Flowers to be seen at their best this month include; Penstemon, Roses, Lilies, Agapanthus, Foxgloves and Rudbeckia (pictured above). The summer garden is at its peak and full of colour, Daylilies are full of summer sunshine and are featured in this month’s Plant Profile.

Jobs for this month
Hoe borders each week to get rid of weed seedlings and keep hedges tidy. Tie in new growth on climbers and keep deadheading to increase the flowering period. Cut back shrubs after flowering especially roses; some may produce second flowers.

Propagate azaleas and summer jasmine by laying strong shoots that are close to the ground and pressing them into the soil (use a peg to hold in place), they should root by autumn. Use a liquid feed on hanging baskets and containers. If you’re going away on holiday move pots into the shade, water well and use a mulch of pebbles or bark to retain the moisture.

In your pond remove yellow waterlily leaves and deadhead maginal and bog plants. Top up water level if required. In the vegetable garden thin crops sown earlier such as beetroot, radishes, lettuces and spring onions to encourage a better crop. Start potatoes in containers for a crop at Christmas.

Common pests and problems
To prevent powdery mildrew often seen on clematis, delphiniums, roses and honeysuckle, water well in dry spells but avoid wetting the leaves. Pick white cabbage caterpillars off cabbages and brassicas and squash the yellow eggs. Place bricks or tiles under developingmarrows and squashes to prevent them rotting.

Become a ‘Greener’ gardener

Gardeners consider themselves to be ‘green’ with recycling, composting growing organically, but with more thought and effort we can all become more aware of green issues. I’ve been buying gardening magazines for 12 years and reading advice on saving water. With the threat of a warmer climate we need to take these suggestions on board.

Water the plants directly and not the soil around them, apply water early morning or early evening and protect plants from wind which dries them out quicker. Prioritise your watering to containers and newly planted specimens. Dig a trench around newly planted shrubs and trees to encourage the water to get down to the roots.
Let the grass grow longer in dry spells, this will also increase the insect population and encourage birds into the garden. Cover at least two-thirds of the pond with floating plants to prevent evaporation. Mulch as much as possible, the best option is pine bark.

Place a plastic bag (with holes for drainage) inside containers before planting up and soak terracotta pots in water before using them. Use a watering can rather than a hose and fill it with grey water from the bath. Be careful of using greasy washing up water. Also don’t store grey water as bacteria will multiply. Sink plastic bottles into the ground close to the roots to act as reservoirs. First drill holes into the side and top up every few days.

Plant Profile – Daylily
Daylily Summer Wine
The flowers of the Daylily or Hemerocallis literally last for just one day. The name originates from the Greek words Hemera (a day) and Kallos (beauty) which describes these plants to a tee!

Daylilies were introduced into Europe in the 16th Century from their native China. There are 26 species recorded varying in height from 25cm to 1.8m and the flowers range from yellow through to orange and red and are big, bright and bold and can be bi-coloured.

Each flower opens in the morning and will fade at the end of the day, however blooms are replaced over and over and the flowering period lasts weeks. Although some cultivars will stay open for at least 16 hours.

Plants thrive in a sunny spot and are drought tolerant; although they will benefit from a good soaking in dry spells every now and again. Some will retain their green foliage in Winter, whilst others will partially die back and re-emerge in the Spring. Large clumps can be divided in Spring or Autumn.

Popular varieties include; the canary yellow Stella D’Oro, American Revolution (deep red), Bright Spangles (orange) Strutters Ball (deep mauve with yellow eye),  Joan Senior (cream) and Summer Wine (see photograph)

Places to go / Things to do in Cumbria
Gardens open under the National gardens Scheme for charity this month include;

Sunday 6 July 11am – 5pm Leece Village Gardens LA12 0QP 2m East of Barrow-in-Furness. There are 8 gardens open and maps are given to all visitors.

Saturday 12 July 12pm – 5 pm The Grange Castleton, LA6 2LD 2m NE of Kirkby Lonsdale. Six and a half acre garden with woodland, formal borders and informal pond.

Sunday 20 July 11am – 5pm Pear Tree Cottage Dalton, Burton-in-Kendal LA6 1NN www.peartreecottagecumbria.co.uk

Sunday 27 July 11am – 5pm Sprint Mill Burneside LA8 9AQ 2m N of Kendal. 5 acre organic garden, riverside setting combining the wild and natural.
(Other gardens are also open during July see The Yellow Book 2008)

Holker Hall and Gardens Cark-in-Cartmel LA11 7PL www.holker-hall.co.uk

Muncaster Castle Garden Ravenglass CA18 1RQ www.muncaster.co.uk

RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park 23 – 27 July 2008
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the RHS at Tatton and set in a beautiful settings of the park, this show includes the national Flowerbed Competition, back to back garden plus gardens designed by gold medal winning designers. Plenty to see and do! www.rhs.org.uk/flowershows

The August column will include Garden Safety and Plants that are Poisonous.

Happy Gardening!

© Pam Pickard 22/6/08

 

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