Spring is emerging; the evenings are getting lighter, the sun has come out of hibernation, daffodils are springing up in Cornwall, and other signs of life are starting to appear across the landscape.
The pent-up angst and frustration of gardeners across the county following such a poor year in2012, is certainly ready for release, and ‘springing into action’ in the garden, encouraged by all with a passionate connection to the garden, and with hope of a better year in 2013. The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) is one keen supporter of kick-starting the gardening season with its national ‘Spring into Summer’ Campaign, aiming to encourage gardeners to transform their gardens through colour, scent and wildlife, through spring and into summer.
So what can we be getting on with in the coming weeks? Trevena Cross Nurseries near Helston tells us:
Managing lawn and weed growth…
Dig the lawnmower out in March and begin regular cutting on the highest blade setting, on dry days (when the ground isn’t wet or frozen). Now is the time to get on top of weeds that start to appear too. Assistance from Round Up or Resolva Weedkiller can help.
Planting potatoes, sets & bulbs…
We’re generally a few weeks ahead of the rest of the country with our sowing and planting here in Cornwall, due to milder temperatures, so if you haven’t got your early seed potatoes, garlic and onion sets planted out yet, do so now. Plant your summer flowering bulbs too.
Dividing and re-planting crowded perennials…
Perennials generally need dividing and re-planting every few years – it encourages healthy growth, and of course, gives you new plants for free! Signs that it’s time to interfere include a perennial that has grown too big for its space, has lost its shape, or that flowered poorly last year. Dividing should take place while the plant is still dormant, so now is a good time.
Pruning shrubs and bushes…
Improve shape and encourage new growth, blooms and fruits this coming season. Use sharp, clean tools and make clean cuts above new growth/buds. Excessively long shoots, weak or damaged growth should be a priority.
Treating pots, beds & borders…
Top dress pots and containers with fresh compost. Remove old compost and top up with new if there isn’t much room for more on top. A good mulch of compost or bark on beds and borders will also be appreciated once pruning, de-weeding and debris removal has taken place. The application of a balanced fertiliser like bonemeal root builder or fish, blood & bone feed will also benefit young, weak, damaged or heavily pruned plants in particular.
Kick-starting the grow-your-own garden…
Feed fruit trees and soft fruit bushes, applying nitrogen feed to hungry trees in particular, like plums, cherries, pears, and blackcurrants. Mulch all with organic farmyard manure. It’s also a key time for strawberries – cover established plants with a cloche, plant cold-stored runners, and pollinate strawberry flowers under glass by brushing them with your hands. Various veg can now also be sown outside, including lettuces, leeks, radishes, carrots and parsnips.
Regularly updated gardening tips, to assist you with your gardening activities this coming season, can be found in the ‘Knowledge Centre’ on Trevena Cross
Nurseries website www.trevenacross.co.uk
Our members have some truly beautiful and interesting gardens. Take a look to see some of the wonderful things growing.
You can take out CGS membership as an individual or as a family and there are lots of benefits.
Visiting Gardens of Yorkshire
Taking in RHS Harlow Carr, Newby Hall, Castle Howard, RHS Scampston Walled Gardens, Helmsley Walled Gardens and the delightfully-named Breezy Knees Garden & Nursery, this will be your chance to experience Yorkshire at its summery best.
Visits to National Trust Packwood House on the way up and National Trust Baddesley Clinton House on the way home will punctuate our journeys and provide further interest.
The booking form and full itinerary was included in our December 2016 mailing.
West Haye Farm, Haye, Callington PL17 7JW, Anvil Cottage and Windmills Garden, South Hill, Callington PL17 7LP
In 1994, Paul Haye levelled an unkempt field at West Haye Farm with just a pick and shovel; his only mechanical assistance being a digger to create two ponds. Since 2002, Paul and his wife have developed their horticultural haven, adding new plants, a shrubbery and a kitchen garden.
Geoff and Barbara Clemerson designed their garden at Anvil Cottage to attract many species of bird with shrubs and trees providing cover and nesting sites. Steps from a rather formal front garden lead up to an area with panoramic views across the southern end of Bodmin Moor and into a rose garden, beyond which is a small wild space that includes a hot bed and jungle garden.
Windmills Garden, owned by Peter and Sue Tunnicliffe, nestles next to St. Sampson’s, a medieval church, on the site of an old rectory. It is a garden full of surprises with formal paths and steps to flower beds, vegetables and soft fruit areas, a water feature with rustic stone bridge and a pergola.
The booking form will be included in our March 2017 mailing.