The Camellias are extremley beautiful this Spring. It is a good idea to give them a shake if possible, to dislodge the brown flowers. After they have finished blooming, you can prune back the tips a couple of inches to retain the shape that you want.
Monty Don’s tips: It’s now the right time to remove the old hydrangea flowers. Just snip above the green leaf, as shown in the photo.
You still have time to prune your roses. Cut them down by a third, clear any crossed stems and try and have an open framework.
You can sow tomatoes until the end of April, so plenty of time to grow your own.
If you have over-wintered your geraniums, prune them back.
Happy gardening to everyone and please send tips and photos so that we can share them. Trishia
Karen has just ordered on-line from Ditchling Garden centre, geranium plugs and lobelia. Hopefully delivery will still be available.
Jobs to do in the garden from Jane. “We are clearing weeds away on the asparagus bed and have our first shoots appearing above the ground – something to look forward to and cheer us up at the moment. I have started sowing sweet peas in tubes, cosmos in trays under glass and courgettes, broccoli and cabbage for greens also under glass. Bit early yet for other flowers, beans etc. Onions and shallots are in and peas going in the ground in the next few days. Potatoes chitting nicely on the windowsill. Its good to have time for a change to tidy up and prepare properly for the season ahead. When the bulbs in pots have finished flowering I plan to put them in the ground on the allotment for cut flowers next spring.”
Trishia’s sweet peas sprouting after a week and seed potatoes in egg boxes.
Monty Don’s tips for this week, 28th March. This is the best time to divide your snowdrops. Dig up a clump, divide, then replant them.
Prune your apples and pears, creating an open framework.
Cut back the old foliage of your ferns and mulch your borders with compost if available. A picture of my pruned apple tree.
Tips from 3rd April, if you have any well rotted compost or manure, mulch your beds. Now is a good time to move grasses if you want to. Sow peas in boxes to start them off. If you like wild rocket, fill a deep container with potting compost and sow the seeds. It can bolt easily so best to keep in the shade. Prick out any seeds that you have grown, harvest rhubarb and repair any bare patches of your lawn. Trishia’s herb garden
The Piltdown Triangle is looking at its best at the moment.
Tips and advice from mid-April. Monty gave the following advice.
If you have pots of bulbs that have finished flowering and you want to free up your pots, dig a hole in one of your borders and put the complete clump in. Plant Zinnia seeds for a lovely colourful display in the summer.
Put up your bean sticks one foot apart. You can now plant peas outside in double or triple rows. Take dalia cuttings , prune early flowering shrubs and pot up your tomato seedlings. This is a picture of the greenhouse with Spinach beet, French beans, coriander, runner beans and a few sunflowers starting to shoot. When they are bigger, and the danger of frost is gone, they will be planted in the Veg garden.
The Lambs Lettuce that I planted in an old wheelbarrow is already sprouting after one week and the sweet peas are growing.
It is the end of April – Blossom time at home.
The Wisteria is looking wonderful with lovely fragrant blossoms.
It is the first first year that our Foxglove tree has bloomed so well.
Our azalea is also in full bloom.
Tips for this week from Monty:
If you have planted lettuce seeds and they are ready to be planted outside, plant 8″ apart in rows of 1 foot. If you want to plant parsley, sprinkle lightly on a filled container, you can use old potting compost or garden soil if you are unable to get new compost. If you want to plant more mint, break off a stem from a plant and put in water, it will soon sprout some roots. You can then plant it out. Sow beetroot now, deadhead daffodils and plant gladioli 4″-6″ apart.
You can take a Virtual tour by going to the National Garden Schemes
As the gardens are closed due to the Virus, you can also donate to the Charites on the link.
Friday 1st May, a mixed day with sunny spells, hailstones, wind, thunder and lightning.
The bean sticks are now erected ready for the runner beans,
these will be planted in couple of weeks when the weather is a bit more settled.
The clematis and early rhododendron are flowering now.
27th May – Garden centres have been open for a couple of weeks now which is good. They have brought in social distancing by using one-way systems and other measures.
Tips from RHS:
- Plant out summer bedding plants at the end of May, but watch out for late frosts and protect tender plants if necessary.
- Earth up potatoes.
- Water early and late to get the most out of your water, recycle water when possible
- Regularly hoe off weeds
- Open greenhouse vents and doors on warm days
- Mow lawns weekly
- Check for nesting birds before clipping hedges
- Lift and divide overcrowded clumps of daffodils and other spring-flowering bulbs
- Watch out for viburnum beetle and lily beetle grubs
Please check your raspberries for a fungus called ‘Raspberry Rust’, when you water them, make sure you water the roots rather that the leaves as the fungus appears on wet leaves. Luckily the fruit yield is unaffected.
The end of May: The weather has been warm and sunny for the last few days which has encouraged roses to bloom, here is a picture of some beautiful roses from one of our local Piltdown residents. This time of year you have to remember to dead head annuals to keep them blooming throughout the summer. I have just changed an old rose garden into a shade garden. We have now planted ferns with the pulmonaria, that thrives there. I am also intending to plant some astilbies that also are good in shade as are Solomans seal.
I have now given my Phlox ‘A Chelsea Chop’, so called because this is best done when the Chelsea Flower show is normally on. You chop down the front stems so that they will flower later, it also stops the tall plants from falling over.
A good tip to stop greenfly on your broad beans is to remove the tips of the plants, Happy Gardening.
I have been sent some more pictures from a Piltdown Garden, showing foxgloves and roses.
Mid June – The roses are continuing to make a wonderful display in our gardens.
List of jobs to do in the garden from Alan Titchmarsh
- Sow Chinese cabbage, pak choi, radicchio and oriental radishes such as mooli.
- Deadhead roses, flowering perennials and bedding plants to prolong the colour in your garden.
- Begin liquid feeding annual flowers, herbs, salads and vegetabless growing in containers.
- The second early potatoes will be ready now, just dig a plant or two, then leave the rest to get bigger.
The foxgloves have been flowering in the shaded part of the garden and look beautiful amongst the ferns.
Midsummers Day: The vegetables and the tomatoes are growing really well, we have been eating lettuce, spinach and chard.
Monty Don’s tips for this week:
- Pick every flower of your sweet peas and then they will flower every 7-10 days. Remove seed pods and they will last until September.
- Plant up squashes and pumpkins on strong frameswork.
- Plant out tomatoes 18″ – 2′ apart, plant deep. If you use a grow bag, plant 2 not 3.
- You can inspire repeat blooming in your hardy geraniums by properly pruning them as soon as the blossoming period is over. Most geraniums can be cut back twice in one season, allowing them to bloom at least three times in one season.
- Now is the time to divide bearded irises.
- Net your soft fruit.
Here are a couple of videos of my garden.
A tour around the vegetable garden A view of my triffid toms…
29th June – The weather has been really hot, 32 degrees Centigrade, which has meant watering early morning and early evening. There was a change over the weekend with cooler temperatures, strong winds and much needed rain. Jobs for this week:
- Dig up your garlic and dry with their roots on.
- Plant out nicotania sylvester – tobacco plants, they smell wonderful in the evening.
- If you are lucky enough to grow lemons, now is the time to harvest them.
- Continue cutting hedges.
We have had a surprise at home, one of our bantam hens has hatched out four lovely chicks. We have had her about 6 years but since the chickens have been allowed to roam around the garden, they have taken on a new lease of life.