Plant of the Month: Gla­di­oli

Cheshire Life - - Peter Wilson Auctioneer­s, -

The eas­i­est way to have a gar­den full of flow­ers with more for cut­ting right through sum­mer is to plant gla­di­oli. There’s a rain­bow of colours to choose from and as they’re sold by the bag, the bulb-like corms are eco­nom­i­cal to buy. Plant a dozen or so ev­ery few weeks in rows, pots or ran­domly in bor­ders and you’ll be re­warded with a suc­ces­sion of blooms right into early au­tumn. I bury un­der 10-15cm or soil – deeper than it says on the pack, but that way they don’t need stak­ing. Some gar­den­ers lift and store in au­tumn to pro­tect the corms from frost, but I find that when buried deep they come through the win­ter. Keep well fed and if you leave them in di­vide ev­ery few years to freshen up the clumps. IF YOU DO JUST ONE THING… put stakes and hoop-sup­ports over her­ba­ceous plants like del­phini­ums that flop dur­ing sum­mer – they’re soon hid­den be­low the bur­geon­ing growth. Start the ‘war on slugs’ by putting pel­lets be­neath flat stones/slates strate­gi­cally placed near vulnerable plants. The stones keep the pel­lets dry mean­ing that or­ganic water-sol­u­ble fer­rous sul­phate types last longer, and be­cause slugs hide un­der the stones dur­ing the day they don’t es­cape the pel­lets.

Move and di­vide her­ba­ceous flow­ers and grasses us­ing back-to-back forks to lever clumps apart. Ever­green shrubs move well too if plenty of soil is kept around their roots. Do this by slic­ing into the soil around the drip-line (the outer leaves), then dig down out­side of this line fi­nally an­gling the spade be­neath the plant to chop through the roots be­low.

Prune early flow­er­ing wood plants like for­sythia and camel­lias as soon as the blooms are over. This gives them time to re­cover and grow fresh flower buds for next year.

Now the cold of win­ter is be­hind us and new buds are break­ing from the stems it’s safe to prune ten­der types like salvia, pen­ste­mon and gaura, and Mediter­ranean herbs like rose­mary and sage. Dead­head daffs as they go over and look-out for aphids on tulip leaves.

Dig and plant ‘chit­ted’ pota­toes out in rows earth­ing up soil around their stems as they grow.

As lux­ury fur­ni­ture spe­cial­ists since 1977, Bridg­man place dis­tinct em­pha­sis on qual­ity, style, com­fort and dura­bil­ity in ev­ery sin­gle piece. In what is a new and ex­cit­ing ven­ture for Bridg­man, they are ex­tremely proud to have been se­lected by the Na­tional Trust to part­ner with them in de­sign­ing Clive­den - a new mod­u­lar gar­den fur­ni­ture col­lec­tion suit­able for the most dis­cern­ing cus­tomer. Visit the Wilm­slow show­room to view the Clive­den col­lec­tion and two floors of sen­sa­tional home and gar­den fur­ni­ture and ac­ces­sories.

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