My gar­den­ing Di­ary

Garden News (UK) - - About Now - Carol Klein Ca ro l K le i n

MON­DAY Ap­ples on our ‘Dis­cov­ery’ tree are ripe. You have to move in quickly be­fore the birds start peck­ing and the wasps get at them! The fruit is prop­erly red and some­times the flesh is pink. They have a fresh, sweet flavour – but they don’t keep. We’re en­ter­ing ap­ple-eat­ing fort­night!

TUES­DAY Our Prunus padus ‘Colorata’ is drop­ping its first leaves: pink, orange and rus­set. Sad to think that au­tumn’s on the doorstep. Dur­ing spring and sum­mer its fo­liage is dark, al­most black, and it’s ac­com­pa­nied in May and June by pen­du­lous racemes of tiny, pink flow­ers. It’s grow­ing very vig­or­ously but if we’re to prune it, we should do it straight away to avoid sil­ver leaf.

WED­NES­DAY Squashes ‘Uchiki Kuri’ and ‘Crown Prince’ got off to a slow start, but are now show­ing signs of mak­ing a re­ward­ing har­vest. Last year they scram­bled over a size­able area, but yielded only a few fruit. This year they’re grow­ing in big pots and seem to be more boun­ti­ful.

THURS­DAY Can’t be­lieve it’s time to empty out our clay pots in readi­ness for spring bulbs. This year we suc­cess­fully saved lots of tulip bulbs, but they’re small and we might just try them in the veg beds to use as cut flow­ers, hav­ing added plenty of grit to the soil. I can feel a tulip-choos­ing frenzy com­ing on!

FRI­DAY While dead­head­ing the Pen­ste­mon het­ero­phyl­lus ‘Blue Gem’ that edges the beds on ei­ther side of the front steps, I can’t re­sist tak­ing a few cu ings. At this time of year they root rapidly and we should have flow­er­ing plants by next sum­mer.

SATUR­DAY Is it worth sow­ing beetroot for an ex­tra crop for later, mak­ing use of the space in the huge tree pots that pota­toes have just va­cated? Be­cause beetroot have such big seed clus­ters, it’s easy to sta­tion sow them, giv­ing each an in­di­vid­ual cell to then trans­plant them later with­out root dis­tur­bance. SUN­DAY The third sow­ing of Or­laya

gran­di­flora, made from seed col­lected from the first sow­ing, which flow­ered miles too early, are them­selves run­ning up to flower in their pots. We need to plant them out in the ground straight away in the veg beds in the hope they’ll slow them­selves down!

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