Gardening Magazine

Garden Happenings

By Notcuttsuk @notcuttsuk

Mrs McGregor and I have been sitting in the garden before dinner now that the evenings have become warmer at last! We love this time relaxing and walking around the garden together seeing what is newly in flower; the plants that have done well and those that perhaps need to be moved to a different place in the garden to give them a better chance to grow well.

Some, such as the early Pulmonarias, so welcome as food plants for early bumble bees have finished flowering now. I have divided a plant up to spread it around the garden and fill in more shady areas under deciduous shrubs, where it can fade graciously into the back ground after producing the tubular flowers for months from January onwards. With a mulch and good water, to reward the plants after they have flowered, along with a vicious prune that removes both the spent flowers and old leaves, they seem quite happy to spread slowly through the summer and make good crowns for the following spring show.

The winter flowering Honeysuckle was pruned a few weeks ago, removing some of the old, woody growth that had just finished producing the sweetly scented, creamy white flowers from November right through the winter until March. The golden leaved Dog Wood, Cornus alba Aurea, has now come into the spotlight here, lighting up the part shaded bed with soft, butter yellow leaves and flat heads of white flower clusters. This really is a plant for all seasons with good autumn colours of red and purple leaves before they drop to reveal the red stems for winter interest. Mrs McGregor likes to use these in her winter arrangements to pep up the evergreens.

Hemerocallis are some of our favorite herbaceous perennials and we are beginning to amass quite a collection, including some delicious dark reds and browns, along with the scented yellow varieties. Each flower lasts only for one day, hence the common name of Day Lily, but the clumps are getting established now and throw up plenty of flower spikes to ensure a longer show of color. Our soil is a bit dry for these plants that appreciate a retentive soil, but with a good mulch of rotted garden compost in the spring and some help from our lay flat hoses in very dry weather, they seem to manage perfectly well.

After a very hot day today, we noticed that the new growth that has shot up on our huge Fatsia japonica was wilting badly. These plants really do grow at a rate of knots in the spring once the weather warms up and being big, bold evergreens, they need plenty of water. I have just been out to look at it again and it seems to be happier now that the sun has gone down and the temperature has dropped a bit! After a few days, it should acclimatise to the heat and stop wilting, along with us humans!

Happy Gardening,

Mr McGregor

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