Fiveways gardens...June 2013

After some warmth at last, everything in the garden is in full swing.  Lilacs are blooming wonderfully, filling the air with their fantastic perfume.  I have a small seating area at the bottom of my garden, next to an old Lilac and lately it's my favourite bit of the garden.  Even in our small gardens, there's nearly always room to squeeze in another place to sit.  I get morning sun there and shade from the afternoon sun.  I'm also only a few feet away from my pond, which is teaming with life. 

So, a good time for ponds and also a lovely time for trees.  One of my favourites is the handkerchief tree (Davidia involucrata).  It's not necessarily one I'd recommend trying to grow, as they can take up to 10 years to flower, and they get pretty big too.  However, there are some plants that we should just enjoy in other people's gardens, and that would be one of them.  There are 2 in Stanmer Park, one beside the glass house next to the nursery and the other near the church - it's really worth getting out to Stanmer at this time of the year.  

Unexpected gaps often appear at this time of year.  Plants, as living things, have a limited life span and don't live forever.  Every year we need to top up our plants and that can either mean an opportunity to try something new, or replace a lost favourite.  It's not always a good idea to replace like for like.  If you've lost a shrub or tree, look it up and you'll find advice about replanting the same plant in the same place.  Garden centres and nurseries are full of beautiful summer-flowering bedding now, and these plants can really make the borders sing, and often will last well into late summer or even autumn.  Don't forget to grab some annual climbers too, to fill gaps on fences and trellis.  Most summer bedding and climbers prefer a warm sunny spot, but there are a few annuals that don't mind some shade.  Ask in the nursery, but Begonias, Ageratum, Nicotiana and even some lobelias often do well in the shade.

Finally, Prune Forsythia and Ribes, flowering currant, if you haven't already.  Both can be cut back hard, if they are beginning to outgrow the space available.

Best wishes


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