Tem­per­a­ture drop en­cour­ages growth

Garden News (UK) - - Over the Fence - San­dra Man­ning

An ur­ban oa­sis in Twick­en­ham com­bin­ing trees, shrubs and gen­eral plant­ing with a va­ri­ety of pondlife and wildlife.

The drop in tem­per­a­ture fol­low­ing the re­cent heat­wave has en­cour­aged fur­ther growth of let­tuce, beans and cour­gettes. Cour­gettes are pro­duc­ing so quickly that if you over­look them for even a cou­ple of days, they turn into mon­sters!

Bindweed has been a scourge of the al­lot­ment, scram­bling up the rasp­ber­ries and twin­ing it­self around the base of plants. I try to man­age it by dig­ging it out care­fully so as not to break up the white, spaghetti-like roots be­cause ev­ery piece left in the ground will re­grow with vigour.

The gar­den has been a bit bat­tered by re­cent wind and rain. How­ever, fallen flow­ers can be res­cued and brought in­doors for pretty dis­plays. Red and white be­go­nias in win­dow­boxes have flow­ered pro­lif­i­cally through­out the sum­mer, need­ing very lit­tle at­ten­tion. Trail­ing blue lo­belia in other win­dow­boxes look a bit bedrag­gled, but they soon perk up with reg­u­lar dead­head­ing. Squir­rels in the gar­den have been fairly quiet over the sum­mer, but they’re now show­ing off their ac­ro­batic prow­ess, find­ing even more in­ge­nious ways of in­fil­trat­ing bird feed­ers. We now have a group of star­lings vis­it­ing each day – their con­stant squab­bling al­ways makes me smile.

I haven’t yet de­cided which spring bulbs to plant – it’s al­ways good to try out new va­ri­eties and colour schemes. Colour­ful tulips and cro­cuses will be planted in pots near the front door.

Soil in both the gar­den and al­lot­ment is easy to work now, mak­ing the re­moval of weeds far less oner­ous. Au­tumn dig­ging will be­gin in earnest in the com­ing weeks, then over­win­ter­ing veg­eta­bles, such as gar­lic and broad beans, can be planted and sown.

Be­go­nias need very li le a en­tion

Weather-ba ered flow­ers are bought in­doors for the vase

A gym­nas­tic squirrel keen to get at the bird food

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