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This week in the garden......

Tips and observations from Langdon gardener, Gail

It’s amazing what a bit of sun and warmth can do to a garden. A couple of weeks ago I was worrying nothing was going to grow this year, now we have borders of abundance!

Rose border

At last there are signs of real growth although I suspect the culprit affecting this might be the cold wind. These pictures show the difference between the roses protected by a large willow and those that are exposed to all elements. There is a marked difference. Hopefully with warmer weather on the way, they will all be flourishing and blooming beautifully.

Lavender beds

Every year I panic that the lavender is not going to survive. In all fairness it does so against the odds. It was planted very late in the year into very cold poor soil several years ago. This year I thought would be the year to throw in the towel and think about replacing some or all of them with different planting. Yet this morning this sight greeted me on my arrival at Langdon. Another years grace!

Long border

This border is pure joy in the summer and autumn months. However this year it has been very slow to wake up. Yes, some plants have vanished, mainly penstemon and some of the more tender salvias but the joy of taking cuttings last year is that there are replacements ready to go.

Yellow brick road

This is a glorious spring border which just gets better every week at the moment. The wood anemones are stunning. The hellebores are just going over but the euphorbia continues to add height and drama. Today I planted some Japanese anemones there to increase the year long interest. Let’s hope they take. I’ve no idea what colour they are as they came from my garden just in leaf. Late summer will bring some surprises.

Ideas for instant colour

There are lots of areas around Langdon that lend themselves to a quick border. Don’t make this too complicated. Decide on the shape of your border (keep it simple). Find anything you can use as edging; I have used small branches, bricks, pebbles and even oyster shells collected from the nearby coast.

It’s a great time of year for picking up bargains in local nurseries for spring planting which is just past its best.I love Richard’s Plants a stall at our local market on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Richard has a great range of plants throughout the year and at a fraction of the price of other outlets. For an instant pop of colour pansies never disappoint and flower forever. Another plant I often pick up are the miniature roses they often sell off in supermarkets. These are usually two or three rooted cuttings potted up together. They can be split apart and either potted on and planted direct. Prune off any damaged bits to a healthy shoot and see what happens. I also love supermarket herbs for the same reason. Don’t forget chives are alliums. They make fabulous edging plants and insects love them.

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