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

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

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

VIS­IT­ING A RU­RAL PLANT FAIR re­cently, I was pulled up short by one of the stall­holder nurs­ery­men gen­tly chid­ing me. I was ask­ing about a par­tic­u­larly de­lec­ta­ble-look­ing plant and when he told me its name, I thanked him and said I would look it up. “Well, you can search for it on­line if you like or you can just ask me – I’m here, I grew it and I can tell you ev­ery­thing you need to know about it,” came his slightly miffed re­ply. I bit my lip with em­bar­rass­ment, but who could blame him? While we have all come to rely on on­line advice, there is ac­tu­ally noth­ing to beat hear­ing it straight from an ex­pert.

Spe­cial­ist nurs­ery grow­ers are a great re­source and de­serve our de­vo­tion. Many strug­gle to make a liv­ing and yet without them the range of plants avail­able to us would be much poorer. If you are look­ing for in­de­pen­dents, try search­ing at in­de­pen­dent­plant­nurs­eries­ and british­plant­nurs­, and see rareplant­ and plan­thunters­ for events where in­de­pen­dents will be ex­hibit­ing.

I come away from shows and plant fairs laden with pur­chases but my (jus­ti­fi­able) ex­cuse is that I win­kle out un­usual things. This year’s haul in­cluded some neon­pink dahlias and a star­tling red cro­cos­mia called ‘Hell­fire’, which is even red­der than ‘Lu­cifer’. Both are still pack­ing a punch.

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