April at Norfolk School of Gardening - Joy of Home Gardening

April at Norfolk School of Gardening - Joy of Home Gardening

With classes cancelled, Ruth has some time for her own garden for once! Are you spending time in your garden wisely and happily in these difficult times?

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There have been moments in the last few days when we have been able to forget the terrible crisis the world is currently facing – and all of those moments seem to have been in the garden. It is wonderfully easy to become totally absorbed with whatever one is doing outside, weeding a flower bed, sowing veg seeds, pruning a shrub, tying in a climber. There is the proof if we ever needed it of what a healthy, mindful activity gardening is.

Like me you may have found yourself spending more time than usual in your garden, and it has been so lovely to be out there in the sun. I have got jobs done which would normally have been on the to do list for several more weeks. I have repotted some of my container plants, and others have had the top few centimetres of compost replaced and some feed added to give them a boost over the coming weeks. I have lifted perennials which were not in the right place or which have got out of hand and I have untangled and tied in some wall- trained climbers including clematis and honeysuckle. I have also sown some seeds outside, both in containers (radish and rocket) and in the raised beds (broad beans and Florence fennel). There is still a stack of seeds to be sown, but I have at least sorted them into some kind of order, and this year there is a chance that I will manage to sow them in the right month, and not discover them at the back of the box at the end of the summer.

It has been worrying to hear about the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on the whole gardening industry. Growers of perennials and annuals are facing imminent bankruptcy as nurseries and garden centres cancel all their orders at the busiest time of year. This will be a huge problem for all of us going forward. We can’t get our plants this year, but if the growers go out of business, we won’t get them next year either. We need to do all we can to support our local garden centres right now. Most will deliver plants and compost, and if they are managing to sell their stock they will reorder. There is only so much weeding and seed sowing we can do before we will need a few new plants but by then it just may be too late. (Check out Rhino's blog for a list of East Anglian garden suppliers who are still selling and need the support of customers in these difficult times.)

We don’t know how long this crisis will last but we would love to hear from you if you are interested in any of the courses we offer. We will add you to our mailing list and keep you posted when things return to normal.


Plant of the Week

Anemone blanda

This is a marvellous early spring flower which attracts pollinators with its open daisy-like blue petals. The tuberous plant is found in the Balkans and Turkey growing in shady places. Left undisturbed it will self-seed and spread, forming drifts of colour. It grows in most soils that are moist but well drained, in sun or part shade. The name Anemone is derived from the Greek ‘anemos’ which means wind. Hence the common name, wind flower.


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