As we write, the first raindrops have not yet fallen, but we really hope they do and that we get a good soaking over the next few days. We have loved the hot sunny weather but the ground has become so hard that it is almost impossible to hoe in places, let alone to lift turf for a new border which we really need to do this week. Of course the rain will bring more weeds, but the benefit to the garden will far outweigh the disadvantages.
We have spent a lot of time this week preparing more plants for sale (our fourth and longest plant list has just been released, so let us know if you would like a copy), pricking out seedlings and potting on. Transplanting in the heat of the past week has not been easy, and some seedlings lifted from the ground have taken a few days to recover. Even a few minutes out of the ground can traumatise some plants. We lifted lots of echiums last week and are very pleased to see that they have not only recovered but put on some growth. So if you do need to lift plants now and they look a bit sad, don’t panic. They will almost certainly revive after a few days of watering.
I imagine that many of you will have been planting out vegetables and annual flowers this week. We have filled our brassica bed with kale, cauliflower, Kohlrabi and Cavolo nero. The netting cage which we made last year is in place and we are hoping that pigeons and cabbage white butterflies will be kept at bay. In the next raised bed we have a small block of Golden Bantam sweetcorn which will be joined in the next few days by three different courgettes. This bed has been improved with the addition of PlantGrow, as last year, and the courgettes should love the added nutrients and the good water retention this offers. Over in the new Rhino GrowBeds we have planted carrots around the edge of one bed and will have a willow tepee in the middle for borlotti beans. In another of these 6x6ft raised beds there are four different squash which should have plenty of room to flourish, even if they spill over the edges as the plants mature.
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
This medium-sized deciduous shrub is named after Jules Aimé Battandier, a French botanist who discovered it in Morocco in the 1920s. It has a rounded habit with trifoliate silvery-grey leaves which are very silky when young. The flowers are yellow, appearing in erect clusters up to 12cm long and are pineapple scented, giving it the common name Pineapple Broom. It is best suited to well-drained soil in full sun.