20 surreylive.news NEWS & MAIL WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12, 2020 YOUR GARDEN With Diarmuid Gavin Potty for high summer Use vibrant flowers in containers to create stunning displays for August A UGUST is when things are their hottest. I love watching The Real Marigold Hotel for the rich pulsating colours found all around India. It’s no coincidence that we have the expression ‘Indian summer’. To achieve some of that heady mix of often clashing vibrancy in a pot, start now. Punching through even gloomy weather, these deep colours will brighten your day. I’ve created mine in some large terracotta pots, but any container will do so long as you make sure it has drainage holes. If your pots are small you can group them together and add excitement by creating different levels. It can be as simple as turning an empty pot on its head as a stand for another pot, or making a small bench from a plank of wood resting on bricks. A few crocks at the bottom of pots are always useful to stop the compost leaking out through the holes when you water. There’s plenty of plant material to choose from at this time of year and the ones I am using should take you through to September and October. I’m going for bold and brash colours – orange, red, pink and purple. Dahlias are brilliant at this time of year – ‘Temptation Purple’ is a beauty with dark foliage and bright purple semi-double flowers. Fill your pots with masses of different colours for an arresting appearance mpost hen Beautiful purple flower spikes of Salvia nemorosa ‘Ostfriesland’ age Dahlias, pelargoniums and osteospermum are a colourful delight in pots tubular flowers and a bushy growth habit – perfect for new gardens when you need to fill space quickly. For an instant hit of sunshine, osteospermums (African daisies) will do the trick. ‘Purple Sun’ is a delightful variety with apricot-orange flowers that have lilac centres – quite psychedelic! Any available leftover space has been stuffed with French marigolds and some large flowered pansies. Though we usually use pansies for their valuable winter and early spring colour, I think they are also gorgeous mixed up with these late summer blossoms. Geraniums will take a bit of drought, as will the salvias, but pots in general need regular watering, often every day. Wind can be just as drying as sun – think of your washing hanging out to dry on the line and how quickly a breeze does the job. I’m going to be feeding these once a week, as well as doing regular deadheading to keep the display going for as long as possible. If you prefer something a bit cooler or you need ideas for a shadier spot, here’s a cool white and green combination. It’s a classic “Thriller, spiller, filler” composition. The star is a gorgeous hydrangea called “Pinkachu”. It’s nicely compact so suitable for smaller pots or even containers. A two-tone variety, the creamy white flowers will mature to a pretty pink. Trailing ivy spills down the side of the pots, softening the picture, and the remaining space is filled with a beautiful white variegated Carex ‘Everest’, the soft shield fern (Polystichum setiferum), a petite white campanula and the elegant Impatiens ‘Infinity White’. When used in pots, it’s really easy to lift the tubers at first frost and store them under cover until next spring. Lobelia ‘Starship Scarlet’ is a halfhardy perennial with shocking red flowers and bronze green leaves, and I love its “standing to attention” demeanour. Equally dazzling are pelargoniums in neon pinks and scarlet reds. These will keep pushing out flowers for months, but like the dahlias and lobelias, they will need protection indoors in winter. Salvia ‘Ostfriesland’ has gorgeous spikes of violet-purple flowers. It’s hardy but in colder northern regions you might be better off moving them indoors or at least take some cuttings for insurance. I’ve also used Salvia ‘Kisses and Wishes’ for a bit of height – it’s part of the Wish series of salvia which have really long Two-tone hydrangea is accompanied by trailing ivy, a soft fern, petite campanula and the Impatiens ‘Infinity White A bold red lobelia PLANT OF THE WEEK WHAT TO DO THIS WEEK RASPBERRIES, inset, and other summer-fruiting berries that have fruited can be cut out and new shoots tied in for next year. a fortnightly dose of high potash, such as tomato feed. next year. Early spring bulbs will provide interest and colour in your garden in some of the toughest gardening months. FICINIA ICE CRYSTAL ■ FICINIA Ice Crystal is a really compact little sedge, growing to around 5-7ins tall. It’s an evergreen perennial with narrow linear leaves. What’s amazing about it is that each leaf is outlined in white, giving an appearance of frost. Grow in full sun in moist soil. It is tender so will need to be brought indoors for winter, where it will make a lovely houseplant in a cool situation, such as a front porch. For this reason, it’s more practical to grow in a pot so it can be easily moved. DAHLIAS and lilies may need staking as they achieve full height this month. ■ MAKE sure azaleas and camellias don’t dry out as they are forming buds for next spring. Encourage another flush of flowering with GLASSHOUSES need damping down in the hot weather, and plants will get scorched if it’s very sunny so remember to shade where appropriate. ■ ■ BULB catalogues are out so it’s time to think about what you will be planting for the spring garden ■ PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED BY PRESSREADER PressReader.com +1 604 278 4604 . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW
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