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.
This five-day garden tour takes in the finest gardens of Kent and Sussex, and showcases late summer planting. One of the many highlights is an exclusive visit to Perch Hill where we will enjoy a talk by Sarah Raven, a guided tour of her gardens and lunch.
Other highlights include a guided tour of Christopher Lloyd’s and Fergus Garrett’s Great Dixter, and a visit to Vita Sackville- West’s Sissinghurst. This holiday will also include entry to the magnificent RHS Partner Gardens of Great Comp and Merriments, the award-winning Pashley Manor and West Dean Gardens.
Dinner, bed and breakfast will be provided at the Mercure Hotel at Tunbridge Wells and we will benefit from the services of a Brightwater Tour Manager.
If you would like to join us on this garden holiday, please click here to download a booking form.
Burrow Farm Gardens provide 13 acres of colour-themed planting and lawns that sweep past an ancient oak to the lake. The Anniversary Garden, created in 2010, with its ornamental grasses and perennials, is at its best at this time of year. Other areas include the Terrace Garden, Rose Garden, Millennium Garden, Woodland Garden and Wildflower Meadow which contains two wildlife ponds.
In contrast, the one-acre plantsman’s garden at Prospect House is hidden behind high walls with Axe valley views. Well- stocked borders of rare and tender shrubs mingle with late summer perennials including rudbeckia, helenium, echinacea, helianthus, crocosmia, grasses and 200 varieties of salvia.
To join us on this day trip, please click here to download our booking form.