Wednesday, 22 November 2017

End-of-summer gardening

IT’S been a glorious summer with hot, sunny days and intermittent but generous rainfall, meaning a bumper year in all

IT’S been a glorious summer with hot, sunny days and intermittent but generous rainfall, meaning a bumper year in all our gardens. Here are some top tips for keeping your garden tidy in the run-up to autumn.

Keep on top of deadheading and cutting back herbaceous perennials that have finished flowering and become ‘leggy’. Cut down the flowering stems to about an inch above the ground. This will allow regeneration in the plants, as well as keeping them healthy as they have less growth to feed.

Any herbaceous perennials you would like to move or divide at the end of the growing season should be labelled prior to cutting down. Keeping photographic records which you can review at the end of the season is invaluable.

Climbing roses and ramblers should also be tamed by removing excessive growth. Reduce wispy growth on wisteria and other climbers to make them more attractive and also reduce the risk of wind damage.

Stay on top of any sign of disease in roses by spraying regularly. The presence of powdery mildew is often due to a lack of water. If roses are on poor soil, mulch at the base with a good, general purpose compost and water well at least once a week in the absence of rain. Do not be tempted to feed them this late in the season.

Re-shape deciduous shrubs which have finished flowering such as Weigela, Spirea and Philadelphus. Also pay attention to evergreens you might wish to reduce such as Choisya and Cotoneaster.

Fruit including apples, pears, quinces, plums and figs is in abundance. Windfalls should be collected daily as they will attract wasps, slugs and rodents. If your crop is more than you can consume consider passing on the excess to a food bank, or leave a crate on your kerb with a sign for passers-by to help themselves.

Vegetables have also done well. I have never before had such a bumper crop of tomatoes, cucumbers and marrows. All make delicious chutneys and pickles — great for gifts.

With an eye for detail, Louise Venter has a lifetime’s experience in horticulture, extensive plant knowledge and is a practising garden designer. Her sensitivity to the environment, style and age of each property and attentive consideration of her clients’ brief is evident in all her projects.

For details call 07803 583687, email louise_venter@yahoo.co.uk or visit: www.louiseventergarden design.com

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