Gardening Magazine


By Notcuttsuk @notcuttsuk

TulipsThe Tulips that I planted last autumn in pots have been a picture and I am so proud of them that they have been moved to the front doorstep so that passersby and visitors can appreciate them as well! The stripy leaved, early variety ‘Heart’s Delight’ has just dropped the last of the petals, but the later golden yellow plants are basking in today’s sunshine, petals open flat to reveal the central black markings. 

I like to have plenty of containers around the garden and it will soon be time to empty the shed of those stored through the winter so that they can be planted up with summer bedding plants. Last year I waited until the late May Bank Holiday before planting them and it tipped with rain once I had finished giving them a bashing. I thought we were going to have another wet summer, but the plants came into their own when the sun came out and were a picture until well into the autumn when most of them were finished off by high winds! There are still plants of the silver leaved Lotus in one container - the mild weather has meant that frost has not killed this half hardy perennial. I will leave them in the pot and plant something new in the middle to contrast with the trailing silver foliage and orange flowers - perhaps a white Pelargonium?

There is always plenty of choice of colourful bedding plants at Notcutts and the hardest part for us is deciding on a color scheme! I definitely favour the half hardy perennials over the ‘traditional’ annual bedding plants though, for flower power and drought resistance. Last year, we stuck to pastel colours and some deep purple and blues, so perhaps this year we will go for a change and have some hot colours on the patio! I am tempted to plant some Dahlias in pots as well to add height and brighten up the shady corners. They are such good value with their attractive leaves and long flowering season. And the more they are picked, the more blooms they produce! They are also a favorite with bees.

For now, I am concentrating on the containers that I have planted with shrubs. I have removed the dead leaves and lightly pruned away the winter damage caused by the gales in February. The next job is to feed the plants with a general fertilizer. I like to use pelleted chicken manure which I buy from Notcutts in large drums and scatter a handful in each pot. The Rhododendron and Camellia are fed with Vitax Conifer and Shrub fretilizer.This is then watered in well and the results are seen within a few days once the plants start to grow away. The leaves are a rich green color and the plants seem to grow more vigorously. This is usually all the feeding that I do until the end of the summer, when the containers get another handful. Watering of course is an ongoing thing once the sun starts to shine and sometimes the pots end up in buckets and old washing up bowls to rehydrate them when the compost has dried out! Usually the plants are very forgiving and bounce back none the worse for their imposed drought!

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