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It seems difficult to write about gardening this week without mentioning the weather. The contrast with this time last year could not be greater. On the upside we are not needing to water outside at the moment and everything is growing well, even if the veg could do with higher temperatures. The downside is of course that the weeds are loving it too, and it is just too wet to be outside and weeding for very long right now. We are hoping that we won’t get too much more rain for a while, and especially not over the Royal Norfolk Show. Rain like this is particularly hard for people who open their gardens for charity at this time of year, so spare a thought for them, and if you can put on your raincoat and wellies this weekend do go and support them. In most places you will find a hot cuppa and a slice of homemade cake, even if you don’t stay outside amongst the plants for long.
We have continued to pot up and water seedlings in the Rhino greenhouse, and all of the indoor tomatoes are now happily in flower. Over in the polytunnel the salad leaves have probably enjoyed the lower temperatures, and we are delighted to have started picking leaves, herbs and edible flowers for the Orangery Tearoom already, a week ahead of schedule. We should be delivering our first cut flowers for their tables soon too. The marigolds and Nigella will go perfectly with their colour scheme.
PlantGrow have made another very welcome delivery of their fertilising soil improver. We have been forking it into every new bed that we have dug, and adding it to every container. It is great for improving soil structure, improving water retention, and adding slow release natural nutrients. We love using it. It’s also great to be working with a brilliant local brand which is making waves across the horticultural world in the UK and beyond. It’s really worth seeking out their products and trying them for yourself.
If you are keen to change things in your garden but don’t really know where to start you may want to consider joining our Introduction to Garden Design. It really is a beginners’ course. You don’t need to be able to draw, and you don’t need to know that much about gardening. It is a really great grounding in garden design, and by the end of it you will have a design for the whole or part of your garden, including a planting plan. The next course starts next week – on Thursday 20th June (and there is another starting on 12th September). Get in touch if you would like more information.
Don’t forget we have a stand at the Royal Norfolk Show in the Horticultural Area marquee. If you are planning to be there do come and see us. We would love to meet you and will be giving away a free course to someone who can identify 10 plants correctly.
Courses with availability in the next month:
Introduction to Garden Design 20th June (for 6 Thursdays)
Happy Houseplants 29th June (includes a macramé plant holder workshop)
Better Borders 5th July
Planting for Year Round Colour 12th July
Floristry Day with Sarah Hammond of English Peonies 13th July
Plant of the Week
The common name, Love-in-a-mist, descibes the way the flowers are initially half hidden in a mist of finely cut foliage. The flower is usually a shade of blue but can also be pink or white. It is an annual, best sown in autumn or spring where you want them to flower. The flowers are followed by attractively shaped seedpods which look just as good when green as when dried and brown later in the year. Nigella is a gentle self seeder which will drift through the border and on to any adjacent gravel pathways. The black seeds are used in the Middle East in cakes and bread.