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.
Spring is one of the best times to visit Scorrier with its bluebells, camellias and rhododendrons. Originally built in 1780 by John Williams as a mine office, the gardens, where William Lobb was once employed, were planted later. In addition to the gardens, Caroline and Richard Williams are kindly permitting us to view the formal herbaceous border, conservatory and large walled garden where vegetables are grown.
Newly opened to the public following Richard and Trish Stone’s ongoing restoration, Trevince comprises 25 acres of parkland, a one-acre walled garden, an ornamental woodland walk, an orchard and pinetum, and a collection of endangered conifers. Current renovation projects relate to a brick summerhouse in the Pond Garden and citrus cultivation.
To download a booking form for this self-drive visit, please click here.
Show gardens, top quality nurseries, specialist plant exhibitors and the beautiful Floral Marquee make RHS Malvern a wonderful event to experience.
Other highlights include visits to Spetchley Park Gardens with its stunning flowering shrubs and spring bulbs; White Cottage & Nursery with it snake’s head fritillary meadow; Morton Hall and its Tulip Festival; Perrycroft Arts & Craft Garden, designed by Charles Voysey, set on the steep side of the Malvern Hills with spectacular views of the Black Mountains; and a day at RHS Chelsea Gold medallist John Massey’s Ashwood Nurseries complete with garden tour.
Dinner, bed and breakfast will be at the popular Three Ways House Hotel in Mickleton, home of the famous Pudding Club.
To download a booking form for this garden holiday, please click here.