Your Fuchsias should be coming along quite nicely now.They won’t be in the condition this exhibition variety ‘Pink Fantasia’ was last month for the Spring show but soon you can be winning prizes.
Seasonal Tips for Growing Fuchsias
The upright bush Fuchsias still need pinching out to encourage the development of extra branches.
Bigger pots may be necessary for those that have roots showing out of the bottom of the pot.
In the North of England I find it is still too early to be hardening off the Fuchsias but during the day they get plenty of fresh air and some liquid feed at the end of the day in the drying breeze. I will increase this by moving them outside during the day so they can get used to buffeting by our climate.
Hardy Fuchsias have been a little slow this year but they are now beginning to show some leaf.
Fuchsias should be kept moist not sodden to avoid flower drop – a good mulch will help.
It is not too late to buy Fuchsias from your garden center. The larger the plant the more they will charge and there is still time for you to grow the plants and get a great flowering display in September without paying for big plants right now.
The National Chrysanthemum Society displayed this Yellow Orinoco Early Spray Chrysanthemum at the Harrogate flower show last month. It only begins to hints at the great variety of Chrysanthemums that can be grown with it’s vibrant colour combination of Yellow on Red.
Personal Top Tips
As a beginner grow only a limited number of types and varieties. The Cushion varieties or pot mums grow well in pots and borders and can be bought in rooted plants of 6 in May for growing on.
Spray chrysanthemum give a good return for the effort.
Look after the plants by watering and feeding regularly. Chrysanthemums, like me, do not thrive on neglect.
Give taller growing plants lots of support. The stalks can be easily broken and you can loose a lot of flowers from damage.
Follow a diary of action so you know when you plan to ‘stop’ (pinch out) or ‘pot up’ your cuttings and plants.
Grow for picking and floral arrangements Chrysanthemums last well in a vase and demonstrate your gardening skills.
I was sitting in the University Botanic Gardens when some people passed by this tree and said it was called an upside down tulip tree. Well, I don’t think they really knew because I can’t find any reference to an upside down tulip tree. I wish I had looked at label now. It can be so frustrating when you can’t remember the name of plants!
Now, is the peak time for bedding plants. Even supermarkets and petrol stations will have a selection of bedding plants for your garden. If you want to buy a lot then you can get some discounts from buying direct such as Jersey Direct Bedding plants
Tips for Bedding Plants
Keep an Eye on Weather. In the south of England the risk of frost is all but gone by this time of the year. In the north keep an eye on the weather forecast and be ready with some fleece should a cold night be forecast. Remember a sudden drop in temperatures can affect plants even if it doesn’t goto zero
Protect from Slugs. Other than the ubiquitous slug pellets, you could try egg shells around plants, beer traps, even nemotodes watered into the garden.
Get Right Planting Space. There’s often a temptation to squash bedding plants up forgetting how much they can grow during the next few months. When planting out Fuchsias imagine you are planting full grown Fuchsias. It will mean a bit more weeding until they are fully grown, but, it will give better value in long run.
Be Bold. Don’t just plant the many different varieties in small numbers. A good swathe of one or two colours / plants looks good. Especially, when it is contrasted with one or two other plants. Take inspiration from local public gardens, but be willing to go beyond their formulaic designs. e.g. mix Tall flowing plants amidst a bed of low growing petunias. e.t.c
When I moved into my new house in 2004, I dug up a lot of grass to increase the size of the borders. However, having done that I found I had less time for gardening than I expected. This meant it has felt hardwork keeping on top of the weeding. Therefore I have come to really appreciate the role of ground cover plants. The best thing about ground cover plants is that they reduce the time of weeding and prevent weeds from seeding. When you are ready to plant specific plants these ground cover plants are easy to cut down and replace. But, it is much better to have these ground cover plants than leaving blank soil. Blank soil is an invitation to nature to send some weeds along!
Comfrey. The plant pictured here is comfrey. It really is an excellent plant and worth growing for its own sake. It has nice delicate flowers which attract bees. It also helps to make excellent compost, you can regularly cut down its leaves to add as accelerator layer to your compost and it will quickly grow back. As you can see from its dense coverage, it is also an excellent weed suppressor.
Geraniums. Great at low growing ground cover. Just cut back after flowering
Pulmonaria officinalis: Lungwort
Mahonia aquifolium: (oregon Grape) shrub
Hosta species as long as they don’t provide cover for slugs..
An interesting article at the Independent – Is Gardening the New Cooking?
Many top class restaurants are using a variety of flowers to spice up their menus. It has led the public to remember old fashioned methods of collecting flowers to add to salads or meals. A free and colourful way to add a little extra to your meals.
Whilst many flowers are edible, it is always important to remember a child could become very ill if they were not educated about the dangers of plants such as foxgloves and laburnums.
Which Flowers can go in Salads?
nasturtiums,(all parts are edible)
beans and peas (including their black and white flowers)