May Garden Gossip
2nd May 2011
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Action Stations!

 

Beat leaf-shredding lily beetle by spraying regularly with Bugclear Ultra or Provado Ultimate Bug Killer.

Sow broad, French and runner beans, beetroot, leeks, lettuce, parsnips, spring onions, peas, swedes and turnips in fertile, well-drained soil enriched with fish, blood and bone meal.

Ventilate the greenhouse on warm, muggy days to improve air flow and reduce risk of disease attack.

Feed fish with protein-rich flakes or pellets now that water is warmer and they can easily digest food.

Mow lawns weekly, alternating the direction of cut.

Move indoor cyclamen outdoors to rest for summer when frosts have finished.

 

Plant of the month

 

Pearl bush

 

Catalogued as exochorda and aptly named ‘The Bride’, it treats us to clustered sprays of double, Dulux-white flowers.

Best grown as a standard so that its shoots cascade alluringly, it romps in most soils apart from chalk, in which its leaves become unhealthily chlorotic.

 

Favouring full sun, though tolerating light shade, it has, as far as I am aware, no foes.

It grows to around 3m (10ft) high and makes a riveting focal point. What better than to set it in your lawn or a wide border to command attention.

 

It’s hardy, too, and isn’t harmed by temperatures falling to around 4’C (-15’C). Keep it youthful by pruning after flowering. Simply remove a third of flowered stems to encourage new growth that will bloom the following season.

Want one? Check with Quinton at Forest Lodge. If he hasn’t one on show, he could probably order it for you.

 

Try it!

 

We’ve recently enjoyed an association of summer snowflake (Leucojum aestivum), famed for its nodding, white bell flowers, with three forms of lungwort (pulmonaria): violet-blue ‘Blue Ensign’, spotted and silvery-leaved ‘Opal’, whose pale pink buds turn a luminous blue, and coral-red rubra.

All plants romp in the boggy patch at the bottom of our sloping garden

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Martin D

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Hi, if we have yet to meet, my name is Martin and I have been running the Best of Farnham for 11 years.

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