Saturday morning garden snapshot

Good morning to you all.  Here in the Moosbach Garden the sun is shining and my heart is filled with hope.  No sign of rain on the horizon so we are keeping a close eye on all of the pots, next week the forecast is for windy weather and this can dry pots and soil out as quickly as sunny weather.

Here are some photographs that I took this morning after breakfast.

img_0828
Gala Apple Blossom.

We applied a good measure of well rotted chicken manure to all of our fruit trees last Winter and the trees have thanked us with a wonderful display of blossom and hopefully in the autumn, plentiful fruit.

img_0829
Quince Blossom is exquisitely delicate and beautiful

Quince come in a variety of forms, here in The Moosbach Garden we have 2 types, an apple quince and a pear quince.  The can take quite a few years to get going but once they are fruiting well you can make jam or chutney from them.  The chutney is especially good with game.

img_0817
Apple blossom

With young trees like this it is best to thin out the fruits once they have set as the thin stems on young trees will not support the weight of too much fruit and may snap.  It is best to give fruit trees a good soak once a week, this is preferable to daily watering and better for the trees.

img_0855
Cardoons are great for adding structure to a garden

Cardoons are a really good addition to a garden or flower bed, they add a ‘wow’ factor with their spiky leaves and grey/silver foliage.

img_0813
Viburnham Aurora Carlesii

I can’t think of a more perfect shrub at this time of year, each floret is a flawless work of art and it is worth shopping around and getting one with heady perfume.

img_0848
Tree Peony Buds

Peonies come in 3 types, perennial, trees and intersectional.  Most people know the perennial varieties that disappear beneath the ground every Winter and then magically pop their dark red buds through the soil in Spring. Less known are the other 2 varieties, namely tree peonies and Intersectional.  Tree Peonies can grown up to 2 meters tall and wide and are a real show piece in a garden.  They have large exotic flowers that grow on the previous seasons growth, don’t be tempted to cut them back or you’ll get no flowers the following year.  Finally there are intersectional peonies that are a cross between the 2 other types, they also have hard wood that stays above ground all year and these come in a stunning array of colours.  For best results fertilize with fish, blood and bone in the winter.

img_0858
Climbing roses are best trained in a fan shape

Climbing roses should be trained with their stems replicating a fan pattern, think of a male peacocks feather display and you are about right.  The most productive zone, referred to as the goldilocks zone, is from horizontal to about 45 degrees.  When you train the stems in this way they produce lots of lateral shoots (as shown above) and each of these will produce a cluster of roses and create a stunning display.

img_0854
Olivia Rose Austin

Roses (depending upon where you live in the world) should be putting on vigorous new growth and producing the rose buds for that first flush of flowers.  My tips for success with roses are to feed when the first leaves appear and then again after the first flush of flowers has finished, obviously well-rooted manure in Winter is the perfect solution.  My second tip is to water the roses well from the base of the plant from the moment the first buds appear until Autumn (October time here).  Roses don’t like to sit in water but neither do they like to dry out.  Remember water and nutrients are the building blocks of life, deprive them of either and they will not perform as well.

I wish you all a very pleasant weekend and don’t forget that when the restrictions are over we will be open for dinner, bed and breakfast.  Fantastic food, organically grown in The Moosbach Garden, local wines and fresh laid eggs from The Moosbach Garden Chickens. You can wander around the garden of relax on a bench with a good book.  Overnight stays include pre-dinner drinks, a 4-course menu and breakfast with homemade bread and jams.  To book visit The Moosbach Garden

Also check our website for dates when the garden is open to the public.

Some garden jobs to do now

The first flush of roses are mainly over now and they should be producing buds for their second flowering and the perennial plants that came after them may be past their best but there are many jobs that you can do now to tidy up the garden and extend the flowering season.  You can do all of these now unless you intend to collect the seeds for growing next year.

Roses

img_0518-1

Repeat flowering roses should have their spent blooms cut back to just above the next leaf joint, this is where the new growth and next flowers come from, we do this weekly so that all of the energy goes into producing new flowers and not rose hips.  It is also a good time to add a little rose feed so that the next flowers are as beautiful as the first. For roses that only flower once we recommend not removing the spent flowers and allowing the roses to produce beautiful hips which will look stunning when frosted in the Winter and provide food for birds.  Now is also a good time to tie-in climbing roses whilst the stems are still pliable, please note never tie in the last 6 inches of the stems as this will inhibit growth. Also check standard roses, removing any shoots coming out below the graft and any from under the ground as these are from the root stock and will take all of the energy which you want to go to the grafted rose at the top.

Phlox

img_0669
Phlox and Dahlia Nuit D’ete

Phlox is a stunning plant but as the flower heads fade they can look a little scruffy.  However, you can get them to flower again by cutting off the spent flower heads just below the flowers but above the next flower buds.  Be careful though as the new buds are quite close to the spent flower heads.

Delphiniums

IMG_7004

These majestic plants can produce a second set of flowers in late Summer if you cut the stems down to the ground and give them a good feed. They should flower in late August to September although the flowers will not be as tall as the first blooms.

Lupins

img_6398

 

Lupins have mainly finished flowering now but if you cut off the spend flowers at the next leaf joint this will promote new flower buds to develop.

Wysteria

Wysteria will benefit from pruning back to 7 leaf joints from last years growth, this will be hard wood and this years will be green and supple.

And finally……

Deadheading all perennials that have finished flowering will promote new growth and some flowers, all of which will extend your flowering season. Provide supports for any drooping plants.  We also recommend walking around your garden and taking some photographs and cast a critical eye over all your planting areas and make notes of plants that need moving or dividing in the Winter if they have outgrown their spot.  A good exercise is to take photographs of your garden throughout the year so that you can see where you can improve interest all year round, they are great to look at in the depths of Winter when you can’t get outside. A garden should always be a work in progress and evolve over many years.  Don’t forget to take time to sit and enjoy your beautiful garden that you and nature have created together.