GAR­DEN NOTES

Ev­ery­thing you need to know to get the most from your plot in June

Country Living (UK) - - Contents - Words by paula mcwa­ters

Ev­ery­thing you need to know to get the most from your plot

One of the big­gest joys of the UK in June is the fact that gar­den vis­it­ing is at its glo­ri­ous height and the chal­lenge is to see just how many en­tic­ing ones are close enough to war­rant shoe­horn­ing into an al­ready packed diary. A vil­lage open­ing – where sev­eral res­i­dents have banded to­gether to open their gar­dens on the same day – is al­ways a draw. The fact that there are mul­ti­ple gates to go through in­creases the chance of find­ing some­thing you like, and there is usu­ally a new plant to dis­cover or a hard-land­scap­ing de­tail to in­spire. I en­joy track­ing down a smat­ter­ing of re­cently made gar­dens if I can. Ones that say they have been ‘cre­ated since 2012’ or ‘com­pletely re­designed by the cur­rent owner’ can be just the spur that’s needed to start a new project. Tak­ing a cam­era and note­book to record de­tails that catch the eye is al­ways a good idea.

Of course, a plant stall is an added bonus and some ab­so­lute gems can be picked up at good prices. My pur­chases have in­cluded some lovely epimedi­ums, hostas and ferns, plus a hand­some pink-flow­ered shrubby sage Phlomis ital­ica, which soon set­tled in at home. You feel that you have road-tested a plant if you’ve seen it grow­ing suc­cess­fully in some­one else’s gar­den, and it’s even bet­ter if you get a chance to talk to the owner about its care. For gar­dens that are open near you, see ngs.org.uk.

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