Talking about garden competitions takes me back some time ago now,when it was suggested that we enter for the Aberdeen in bloom competition. Well although we were very keen gardeners it would never have occurred to us to take it so far, nor at the time would we have considered ourselves experienced enough to participate. So if any of you have been thinking of doing this, go for it you will find that it is great fun, and very satisfying when you see people stop to admire your work. Well when I say your work, it is not entirely true, for it has all been handed to us by mother nature. None if it would be possible without the sunshine and the rain, the flowers although tampered about a bit by mankind, only slightly changes what already was there. When I find people saying your garden is beautiful, I very often agree, not because of my inflated ego, for well do I know where it comes from. So go on, with a bit of luck on our side, we may well see you next year.
Going over the top with the maintenance of the front garden at the moment, which is quite normal at this time of year. Expecting the judges sometime next week, which is the usual time that they make their appearance. Occasionally they try to catch you out by arriving either one week early or maybe later than usual. As a rule they pop a note through your letterbox the week beforehand confirming that your garden has been accepted for the competition. No such note has arrived this year, I hope they got our application, if not I know someone who will be even more disappointed than me. I will let you know the outcome anyway. Taking loads of pictures at the moment, I will update the picture gallery sometime in September. Have a look at the front garden, just took this photo thirty minutes ago, feel reasonably confident. Mind you even if we did not go in for competitions we would still maintain the garden front and back to the very same standard, (hold on is that a blade of grass a whole centimetre longer than the rest).
Pottering about in the front garden a couple of days ago, a passer by stopped to admire the garden. Always pleasant to spend a bit of time with someone who shares your interest. Talking with him, he informed us that an old neighbour of his had told him that the secret of really good hanging baskets was all down to getting the watering right.
well he wasn’t wrong, but feeding also plays a large part in the success. If you rely solely on the feeding that was in the compost when planting up, you will find that by late July flowering will become a bit sparse. To save yourself any trouble getting the feeding regime right, when planting up your baskets add the slow release granules, (Osmicote) this will take care of the nutrients your plants require right through till late September, or maybe even longer.
Back to the watering, now if you live in London,especially during this recent heatwave you could well find yourself having to water twice each day. Here in Aberdeen by early July when the baskets are becoming pretty well root bound you will most likely get away with watering once every two days, don’t hold back ,absolutely flood the basket. Even here in the north east if the weather is getting hotter than usual, or if it has been windy, it would be wise to check each day.
Everyone loves Begonias, one which we think is very special is (Champagne) a trailing double with a colour that reflects its name.
One of the Perennial plants which is both fully hardy and also with exquisite flowers is the daylily (Hemerocallis).
Our garden has quite a lot of dappled shade and at this time of year they are at their very best. In your own garden they may well flower earlier, Daylilies really do prefer full sun to flower profusely. Although each flower does only last for the one day, each individual stem carries numerous buds, so at any one time the plant can look laden with flowers.
One over rated Hemerocalis is the dwarf growing Stella d’Orro, it was held in high esteem as supposedly it was the first to give continuous blooms all summer, does not stand up to the claims.
’Golden Chimes’ is a well-loved variety which the Royal Horticultural Society gave their Award of Garden Merit as a plant of outstanding excellence. It has star-shaped, deep yellow flowers with reddish brown backs and thrives in both full sun and partial shade, this one is clump forming about 70cm tall. Go on try Hemerocallis, may take a couple of years to settle down, but well worth the wait.
All systems go again, Myra and I spent the morning at Robert and Dawns garden.
Back in April we decided to help out as Dawn was desperate for a garden she could be proud of. They both lead a very busy lifestyle and would have had difficulty in creating the garden that they longed for.
Their garden was a blank canvas for us, a newly laid lawn and virtually nothing else. Four months later and it is looking great, and if it were not for the large play area for their young daughter, which does tend to dominate, I reckon that they could challenge us in the Aberdeen in bloom competition.
I will show you a before and after picture on the blog today, we are very well pleased with the result, as are the owners.
Weather is still continuing very good at the moment, I ought to set up a thermometer in the garden to record the daily temp. What am I like, starting to behave like a train spotter.