Gardening Magazine

Letter to the Garden - October 2021 - Can We Talk About Next Summer?

By Ozhene @papaver

Dear Garden

Its that time of year isn't it where I spend a lot of time walking around. I'm inspecting the borders: thinking, removing spider webs (and sometimes spiders) from my face from where I have walked through them or leaned in too closely to inspect a plant and generally thinking about what works and what does not.

Letter to the Garden - October 2021 - can we talk about next summer?

Which leads me to what we need to talk about: dear garden we need a chat about early summer perennials.

"Which early summer perennials?" I hear you ask

Exactly, I respond, where are they? We (as I do see this as a joint venture, I am not blaming you), are lacking in the early summer colour department. We (again, joint venture) therefore need a plan. A buying, sowing and planting plan.

Most years I like to use annuals to fill a lot of gaps and to give quick easy colour. The last couple of dry summers have made this difficult to maintain and has not been hugely successful. I will continue to use annuals, I like using them to ring the changes, but I need some colourful perennials to give structure.

I want more hollyhocks, I have an increasing love of hollyhocks and I know I just do not have enough. I have planted a couple of extra ones this year, but I know I need to add some more. Do you remember that hollyhock garden I found by accident a few years ago? It made quite an impact on me, and whilst I do not aspire to have a garden of only hollyhocks, I know I need more than I have. There is a front garden just around the corner from here, I drive past it on the way to work and it has a nice patch of hollyhocks by the front door. They always make me smile and it seems to me, dear garden, increasingly important to grow things that make smile as one of the things I want to add to the list of shortages is smiles.

Hollyhocks though will flower a little later than I need. So maybe delphiums are the answer. I used to grow delphiniums to great success in my previous garden yet here, with you dear garden, I have had no success. The slugs here seem even more voracious than the ones back in Nottingham - is that a thing? a greedier Leicester slug? maybe not....

Anyhoo, let's keep thinking about this early summer colour question and let's also clear back some of those blinking perennial sunflowers. Lovely as they are they are thuggy-mcthugface and just need to know their boundaries. There will be editing.

I shall keep in touch.

Stay safe all and be kind.


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