The glorious weather has continued in our neck of the woods and I get the feeling that the region’s gardens have never looked so good. Everyone seems to be outside weeding, sowing, planting, mowing, even if they would never have claimed to be a gardener til now. The knock-on effect may include a few sore backs, but we should all be that much healthier as we are spending so much time outside and in a few months we will be harvesting and enjoying the crops we are currently planting. Let’s hope this is more than a passing phase and that lots of people catch the gardening bug in this strange, difficult time. It would be a wonderful legacy after so much hardship and heartache.

The mail-order seed companies are still struggling to cope with the huge increase in demand and some of us will end up sowing seeds a little later than planned. This week we have sown many more trays and pots in the Rhino including annual flower seeds, beans, courgettes and squash, but also some late tomatoes (click for growing guides: Tomatoes or Courgettes & Squash). You may remember the mice helped themselves to our seed stock last November and ate nearly all of our saved tomato seeds. We have only just managed to get hold of some more, so let’s hope it is a long hot summer and they catch up fast in the greenhouse.  The heritage beans which we got at the Norwich Plant & Seed Swap all seem to have germinated and we can’t wait to see how they turn out (and taste). 

Every week we seem to be lifting more turf to create more beds in the Walled Garden, and this was no exception. We have made a new shrub border near the prairie bed, moving many of the shrubs we were given earlier in the year from a large garden near Beccles. Some of them may not look their best this year but we have cut them back and given them a chicken manure pellet feed, so they should recover and flourish. The other beds we have created this week have been for the main crop potatoes which have just been planted. These beds will be used for propagation later in the year after the potatoes have been lifted.

During this time when we can’t run courses we are going to start weekly gardening question and answer sessions online, using Zoom. If you have a question for us and would like to join us get in touch for more information and for an invitation.

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

Plant of the Week

Dicentra formosa or Bleeding Hert perennial

Dicentra formosa

Commonly known as Bleeding Heart, this is a rhizomatous spreading perennial from western North America with abundant, lobed leaves 10-45cm long, mid-green above and glaucous (blue-green) beneath. It flowers late spring to early summer with pendulous pink flowers on arching stems. Dicentra formosa grows best on neutral or slightly alkaline soil in part shade. It is really useful for underplanting shrubs.

 

 

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www.rhinogreenhouses.co.uk

Written by Ruth Darrah of NSG