Greenfingers - September 2018

Whilst relaxing in the garden one evening last month, I experienced an Edward Thomas moment – well I think that’s what it should be called, or perhaps just a Thomas. A silence descended on the garden, no traffic nor aircraft, nor steam trains, and even the wheezing wood pigeons were quiet. Nothing happened.

We’ve had plenty of opportunities to enjoy warm evenings outside this summer, in between the watering duties. All the container plants have needed regular watering, and anything newly planted in the beds also. A couple of plants were lost, but whether that was due to the very cold spring, or the dry summer, I’m not sure. One was a Salvia, and the other a Lobelia. As a result, I’m inclined to pot up the other salvias in the late Autumn, and overwinter them in the protection of the greenhouse.

Several perennial geraniums which have finished flowering have been cut back, resulting in a flush of new green growth. Other herbaceous perennials will be cut back as they finish over the next month, and divided. The sweet peas performed reasonably over the summer, with plenty of flowers, but short stalks.

Some vegetables are doing well, peas, french beans, lettuce, but the squashes, and tomatoes have needed a good deal of care, and the shallots have been poor. Several people have commented that the runner beans have flowered prolifically but failed to set.

I came across the National Rhubarb Collection in Clumber Park last month, and wondered what G. Boycott would make of it. Below is a picture of the long rhubarb bed and also the beautifully trained fruit trees in the walled kitchen garden.Rhubarb0918

The Minchinhampton Gardening Club Annual Show takes place on Saturday 8th September in the school hall, with 75 classes this year, and the club has a stall at the Horsfall House Fete on the following day to sell any donations or excess produce from the show for the benefit of Horsfall House. Schedules are available around the town, so don’t hesitate to enter an exhibit or two – they all help to make the show – and come along and enjoy the scene, from 11am.

The autumn equinox occurs on 23rd September, with equal hours of day and night.

Pete Smith