Cottage gardens

by Wendy Syddall

Sorry for not blogging for a while, but when the weather is good I need to be outside doing stuff so have little time to say what I have been doing.

On Saturday I went to a free talk on cottage gardens at a local garden centre. While I love cottage gardens, I am not aiming to create that here, as in its true sense its lots of plants growing a bit too close and looking a little untidy and I prefer a tidier garden. I do, however, love the cottage type of plants – roses, foxgloves, poppies, lupins etc and have these in my garden.

The talk was interesting and did take some things away from it which I will try and explain here.

Firstly, that it is important to annually feed the soil, whether its with a grow more powder or pellets that need to be rained in or compost/well rotted farmyard manure raked into the ground. Just an aside, but we have a neighbouring cat who loves soft compost on the garden for him to do his business as its soft on the paws so this will be tricky when I put the compost round in autumn as I usually do.

Secondly, not to buy all your plants at the same time of year if you want to create a garden that lasts longer than a few months, as the garden centre is always selling what is best at that particular moment. This may be common sense but something I hadn’t thought of.

Thirdly, the need for some plants that don’t die down or have some winter berries or at something to look at otherwise come the winter months the garden will look bare.

My last point from the talk, when using slug pellets they are more effective if you use less.

Something I saw on a gardening programme this week, if you want your seedlings to grow quicker, stroke them or talk to them. Somehow the air movement does something that makes them grow faster. Sorry I am not very scientific so can’t explain this further.

Regarding my garden, I have been busy potting on in the greenhouse and also planting out zinnias, cosmos and agrostemma (corn cockle). I have also been removing the spent forget-me-nots and all the weeds hiding underneath. I may be about half way now but we have so many it will take a few more sessions to complete the task. Then I can look forward to cutting the edges of the grass, a job I don’t enjoy but needs doing.

Lastly some pictures from my garden:

astrantia lupin

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