Create spectacular waves in your garden
penetrate them and they drink an awful lot so in a heat wave they need watering twice a day.
They’re little drama queens. They wilt dramatically in a day, but don’t fret. By putting them under a dripping tap, in the shade, you’ll revive them. If this doesn’t work then you can resort to chopping them back and giving them a good feed – they really do bounce back. Removing the dead crispy flowers promoted good growth and please prune ‘bits’ off them every week, just a snip here and there won’t be noticed in their mane of foliage but keeps them from getting leggy and ugly on top.
Petunias are actually great in dry conditions if they are planted straight into the ground as they have really long roots which get down below the water tables - but just be cautious in pots and baskets. We planted up some crates for a wedding recently and paired them with white geraniums, nemesia and floaty tall cosmos for a stunning show.
All these plants are available at the nursery.
Why not join us for a barbecue and musical extravaganza in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support on Sunday, May 10? Tickets available from the farm shop, just call 01753 662907.
Right, a planted wedding arrangement at Pinewood Nurseries off two to three weeks before planting.
They can be hardened off in a cold frame or simply moved outside into a sunny, sheltered position during the day and then brought back inside at night.
For new tender plants which are already in the ground but need some protection, cloches are always a good idea and can be removed during the day when the temperatures rise.
Protect new shoots and fruit tree blossom with horticultural fleece and cover plants in an unheated greenhouse with newspaper.
If spring frosts have affected tender young growth, causing scorching and pale brown patches to appear between the leaf veins, often on the exposed and top edges of the plant, don’t give up just yet as the plant may still be alive.
Many plants can be surprisingly resilient and may well rejuvenate from dormant buds at or below soil level. This takes time so recovery may not be seen until early summer. If the plant is of high value or it is not essential to fill the gap, consider leaving the damaged plant in the ground until mid-summer. If no re-growth has appeared by then, replace the plant.
If you want to plant up hanging baskets early with young plants, make sure you take the baskets under cover at night, keeping them in a sheltered porch or similar area. Troughs and patio tubs which you want to plant up with vulnerable plants should also be treated similarly, or covered at night with horticultural fleece.
Frost problems are often made worse where plants face the morning sun, as this causes them to defrost quickly, rupturing their cell walls. Periods of cold, frosty weather during April and May can also kill blossom and damage fruit.
Camellia and magnolia are particularly vulnerable and can be ruined in a single frost.
Avoid planting tender plants in frost pockets, which tend to be at the lowest point in a garden, as cold air and frost always descend and settle at the lowest point. Instead, plant them in a sheltered spot, under large trees and shrubs or against walls, to give them some heat and protection during the winter.
And don’t give up just yet if your plants succumb to frost – if you wait till early summer you may see some signs of growth underneath the damaged parts and can cut back the dead growth to give the new growth a chance to catch up.
Don’t let frost kill your cabbages