Archive for April, 2011

What’s happened to April showers?

It’s 28th April today and it hasn’t rained here once this month. This is potentially disastrous for everyone who planted new hedging during the Winter/Spring season.

Plants that are recently planted do not have roots going deep down into the damp sub-soil and unless they are watered plentifully (ie a watering can on each plant) and regularly (daily if it’s warm, every two days if it’s cool), then the plants will just not be getting enough water to sustain them as they try to put on spring growth.

By the way, always water in the early morning well before the sun comes up, or even better, the early evening after the sun has gone down.   Otherwise, it will just be evaporated by the sunshine and the soil will be dry as a bone again within hours.

Once a plant is fully established, it doesn’t really then need to be watered. Here’s a photo of the Lavender planted in our garden at home last April – so it’s only a year old and yet it looks really vibrant – it hasn’t been watered at all and is doing magnificently despite the driest February, March and April for over 50 years.

English Lavender hedge

English Lavender hedge

Root balls and tall pot grown/tall bare root plants are the most in need of water. The taller the plant the harder it is to get established and the more it will suffer if allowed to dry out.   You really do have to absolutely drench them when first planting – empty a whole bucket of water into the planting hole and let it drain, then plant, then add another bucket of water before the final addition of the last layer of top soil.   And then they need to be drenched regularly – You just have to be a bit careful not to apply so much water that the roots rot or become waterlogged – and particular care is needed with Yew which likes plenty of water in the first few seasons but doesn’t like to be sitting in wet soil – so a little less water a little more often and make sure it’s draining properly.

June

 

The humble Potentilla looking glorious

I would think that most gardens have a Potentilla. It’s not a much loved species but it’s ever so common, most usually yellow flowering. We have the yellow but we also have pink, tangerine and white flowering varieties.

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If there are any gardens out there with only the yellow or even without a Potentilla, you should put this right straight away. The only drawback to the species is that it’s deciduous – but that’s so often the case – those species with the biggest show of flowers or berries are very often deciduous (there are flowering and berrying evergreens – see website or phone the helpline for details).

 

Berberis at it’s best

Berberis is such a good all rounder – prickly enough to deter intruders, glorious flowers at this time of year and plentiful berries in autumn. We have 4 different varieties of Berberis – here’s the Julianae looking particularly good at the moment with it’s orange/yellow berries and shiny leaves.

Berberis Julianae

Berberis Julianae

Stenophylla is very similar but has an arching style (you can see a lot of it around at the moment with long arched branches with orange/yellow flower spikes on the ends of them) – it has narrow green leaves.

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Both Julianae and Stenophylla are evergreens.

We also do two very popular deciduous varieties – Ottowensis x Auricoma has dark red leaves, yellow flowers and the leaves go a bright flame colour in the autumn.

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The young foliage of Berberis Rose Glow is held on arching branches, initially purple, then developing pink, cream and silver variegation which last all summer before the autumn foliage turns glowing red before dropping.

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It’s a complicated species because the different varieties are so very different (they only thing they’ve all got in common is that they are all prickly) so if you need advice on which one would be best for you, just ask the help desk team or see our ultimate guide to Berberis hedging plants.

 

Hawthorn is early this year

Hawthorn is also called May Blossom but it’s in full flower and we’re not yet into May. It’s all this warm weather! Doesn’t it all look fantastic in the sunshine – usually it’s raining when the Hawthorn is in flower so it’s not so noticeable (walking the dog with your hood up!). I love the leaves (fluttery and bright bright green) as well as the flowers and the perfume is amazing. It’s one of the cheapest species we sell and one of the best.

Flowering Hawthorn

Flowering Hawthorn