AS FEATURED IN THE EAST ANGLIAN DAILY TIMES
Depending on how you look at life, gardening involves a lot of either wishing your life away, or giving yourself plenty to look forward to.
In the heat of summer, clad in shorts and vests and brown as berries (it looks like suntan, but on closer inspection turns out to be a fine layer of compost stuck to suncream), the unstoppable potters at Katie’s Garden have been potting up around 3,000 winter pansies and violas every week, as well as hundreds more wallflowers, trailing pansies, chrysanthemums, Bellis and foliage plants in preparation for autumn and beyond.
In terms of planting for the future, it’s not exactly Capability Brown and his 18th century contemporaries planting trees “under whose shade they know they shall never sit in,”: the first batches have already hit the shelves in Newbourne and at the various outlets we supply across Suffolk, but it’s a start.
Because now is the time of year when you will reap the rewards of planning ahead.
It can be tempting to cling on to your summer bedding displays for as long as possible, but regret sinks in when you realise you’ve left it late to establish a really great show for the cooler, darker months.
They say there are no second chances in life, but in horticulture they come around every 12 months, so if you spent last autumn, winter and spring looking at a pot of increasingly dishevelled Pelargoniums and Petunias, get planting soon – you’ll be glad you did.
Bulbs are a great baby-step towards the art of delayed gratification. Planting in autumn, you can give yourself a succession of blooms for six months or more. Start with prepared Hyacinths that will quickly flower in December (I won’t use the C word), and then watch each month bring fresh delight as Crocus, cobalt blue Scillas, Russian snowdrops, Narcissus, Tulips, Fritillaries, bluebells, Alliums, Camassias and more take their turn to shine.
You’ll also be giving yourself a pat on the back if you get your shrubs, roses, climbers and perennials in soon. Evergreens, Pyracanthas, Perovskias (Russian Sage), Ceratostigmas (Shrubby Plumbago) and Buddleias – including dwarf varieties - will give an instant hit of colour, while the likes of Hydrangeas will have the chance to establish really good root systems to support better growth and more flowers next year and beyond.
And with any planting now, chances are, nature will take main responsibility for watering till they’re established!
Gardening advice by Catherine McMillan
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