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Well we are not complaining about the weather this week. I’m very sorry if you had a staycation booked and have got wet, but it has been wonderful to spend less time with a hosepipe in hand, and more time being able to garden in cooler temperatures between showers. Some plants which had flagged for the past few weeks, even when watered, are now flourishing again. Persicaria campanulata is one plant which really struggles when it is too hot but has now perked up and should look very good for weeks to come. The courgettes also seem to have loved the weather over the past few days and we may not be the only ones to have suddenly discovered a few marrows lurking under the huge leaves!
In the veg patch there have also been the first sweetcorn cobs to harvest and enjoy minutes later, and we have finally pulled up the pea vines which had finished fruiting. Some of the heritage peas we grew turned out to be more marrowfat than sweet garden peas, so we are trying them out in a different version of houmous (not being very partial to mushy peas). The runner beans are doing very well, though the heritage variety, Blackpod, which we are growing alongside Moonlight and Scarlet Emperor needs to be caught very small or the purply pods become very tough. The squash growing in PlantGrow in the new Rhino raised beds are still putting on a lot of growth and some of the pumpkins are already enormous. It looks like it will be another bumper squash autumn.
In the Rhino greenhouse the tomatoes are also doing really well, as are the cucumbers. We did find the first blight and blossom end rot last week. The latter will have been caused by erratic watering when it was so hot and we clearly didn’t keep up with the tomatoes’ thirst. The bottom of the tomatoes had flattened and turned black. It doesn’t mean all the tomatoes on that plant will now be affected – as long as we make sure we water enough. The blight is more terminal and we quickly removed the affected fruit as soon as they showed the very first signs. So far so good but we will be checking every day from now on.
Upcoming courses with availability:
Lawn Care & Maintenance 2nd September
Planting for Year-Round Colour 25th September
Botanical & Textural Print Making (6 week course starts) 28th September
Plants for Free: Propagation Workshop 29th September
Pruning Shrubs & Roses 2nd October
Gardening Under Glass 6th October
The Cutting Garden 9th October
Gardening For a Changing Climate 13th October
Border Renovation 16th October
Introduction to Garden Design (8 week course starts) January
Certificate in Practical Horticulture (10 week course starts) January
Plant of the Week
Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’
This is a wonderful perennial sunflower which is useful for its late summer to autumn flowers. Helianthus comes from the Greek helios for sun and anthus meaning flower. Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ is a widely grown cultivar which forms a clump and reaches 1.7m in height, with pale soft yellow flowerheads. It is a good plant for the larger border, growing vigorously but not spreading aggressively. It is best grown in full sun in a sheltered position.