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Well it has certainly rained over the past week, and the water butts are now overflowing again. Everything in the garden is somehow looking brighter and the grass is definitely greener. The hail and heavy rain at the weekend did do some damage and some of the roses are looking a bit the worse for wear, but happily they will recover with a bit of help. Some stems have been made top heavy with the extra weight of the rain in the flowers, and they have bent right over. These we have either supported or cut back if they were damaged. Some of the buds have become balled (where the damp rots the outer petals and they become brown, preventing the rose from opening). If you have balling you may well be able to save the rose by removing the brown outer petals. If it is too late you can deadhead and they will reflower before too long.
For the most part the vegetable patch has really benefitted from the rain, although there is inevitably a lot more weeding to be done in between the rows this week. Some leaves were damaged by the hail but most of these plants are now strong enough to survive a bit of a set-back. You may have noticed a lot more slug and snail activity as a result of the damp weather and they may even have destroyed some young plants. We are putting beer traps amongst newly planted beans and annual flowers this week in a bid to distract those greedy molluscs, and some nights we have even been out with a torch to pick the worst offenders off the most precious plants. It is a bit like putting a finger in the leaking dam, but somehow it makes us feel like we are doing something protecting our plants.
Back in the Rhino greenhouse and out in the veg patch we have been sowing more seeds. Some are annual flowers for next year, such as Aquilegia and some are vegetables which still have time to grow to maturity this year. We have sown more beetroot, salad, radishes and peas this week. The last of the squash and courgette should leave the greenhouse this week for outside beds which will make more room for the tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and cucumbers. We may even have some space on the shelves soon!
We are beginning to look at ways to start courses again in a safe way. We’ll keep you posted about our plans over the coming weeks but we are putting together a summer programme which will include many of the courses we had to cancel during lockdown, plus some new ones. Do let us know you if you are interested in joining us. We’ll add you to our mailing list and let you know when courses can be resumed.
Plant of the Week
Rosa glauca is a vigorous medium-sized shrub with sparsely prickly, reddish stems bearing contrasting greyish purple leaves. The attractive foliage is a key feature of this rose as are the red hips in late summer. It grows in most soils, tolerates shade and benefits from a mulch in late winter or early spring.