The English Garden

Bunny’s Diary

Bunny Guinness debates lifting dahlias, plants new trees and tries out a new water feature kit


Ileave my dahlias in the ground over winter because they perform better on my thin soil when left in place to develop a deeper, wellestabl­ished root system. Winter wet is dahlias’ big enemy, but everyone’s conditions are different and every year is different. With a reasonably mild climate (I am in the East Midlands) and free-draining soil, it is far easier to fling a thick carpet of mulch over them before the frosts and just lift one clump for insurance. The clump sits in a crate in a frost-free place with a bit of compost around it. So often the easiest system turns out to be the superior one!

Recent research has turned tree planting techniques on their head. Planting in early autumn, it transpires, is far better than doing it in spring. This way, the root system develops before the soil cools, and if a dry spring follows, they are more resilient. Small, bareroot plants do better than pot grown. Make the hole just big and deep enough to accommodat­e the roots. Backfill with the exact same soil that is in the ground anyway. Don’t add rich compost or the roots won’t leave the pit. Don’t stake unless you really have to; you can plant standards without stakes if they’re not exposed. Plant small trees: transplant­s or whips will overtake bigger specimens in no time at all. Keep weeds and grass away from the base of the tree for around three years and remember to give a big soak on planting and before mulching. Rabbit-proof guards will often prove essential.

A new miniature fountain kit from Hydria Life (£199.99, with a pump and a rechargeab­le cordless battery, enables even a technophob­e like me to fit it into any pot in just a few minutes to make a great self-contained water feature. The battery lasts for 150 hours and it comes with a remote control, so you could run it for two months for two hours a day. I put one in a dolly tub on my terrace, but thought it would also work well in a stone trough. A great invention. n

Visit Bunny’s YouTube channel to watch videos such as ‘The Simplest Self-Contained Water Feature’ and ‘How to Hide a Trampoline in Your Garden’ youtube. com/bunnyguinn­ess

 ?? ??
 ?? ??
 ?? ??
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom