Search is on for red devils...

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

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

I’ve done all the spring prun­ing in the gar­den. The for­sythia has had a se­vere chop with all cross­ing branches and dead twigs re­moved, so there’ll be a good dis­play of sul­phuryel­low flow­ers next year.

Pho­tinia ‘Red Robin’, in full bloom for spring, pro­duced creamy flow­ers so large they looked like flower posies, and they at­tracted nu­mer­ous in­sects.

My first lily beetle sight­ing was in mid-April. I’m now in­spect­ing my lilies daily so they don’t get de­stroyed by these red devils! But­ter­flies, in­clud­ing or­ange tip, small tor­toise­shell and brim­stone, have all been spot­ted in the gar­den since the be­gin­ning of May. Swifts, screech­ing over­head, her­ald the ar­rival of sum­mer.

At the end of the gar­den

against trel­lises, I’ve planted four types of clema­tis: ‘Arabella’, ‘Pol­ish Spirit’, ‘Gire­nas’ and ‘Pro­teus’. I bend the stems into the soil as I plant them so that ad­ven­ti­tious roots are pro­duced which help to sta­bilise the plant. They also like to have their roots in the cool. I’m look­ing for­ward to a ver­ti­cal riot of colour!

French laven­der ‘Papil­lon’, planted in a pot on the steps,

wafts its de­li­cious aroma and pro­vides a good splash of colour.

Plenty of rhubarb is be­ing har­vested on the al­lot­ment. Sow­ings of lettuce ‘Lit­tle Gem’ and some cal­abrese are about to be thinned out. The gar­lic is look­ing par­tic­u­larly healthy this year. Climb­ing French beans and Ital­ian bor­lotti beans are

romp­ing away, so I’m hop­ing for a bumper crop this year.

My rowan’s in bloom – per­fect for bees! Clema­tis ‘Arabella’ will hope­fully bloom brightly

I’ve had a lot of or­ange tip bu er­flies

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