Well what is it with the British weather? Not so long ago we were complaining about flooding and cold holding up development of the perennials in the nursery, and now, as I write, we are in the midst of a heatwave! And what a heatwave! I cannot remember having such consistent sunshine, and it looks set to last. The moisture loving plants are really suffering; ligularias do not like hot sunshine, and though well watered they we wilt in the heat. Similarly, Rudbeckias and Adenophora quickly succumb, so we have to be diligent when it comes to watering.
On the positive side, some plants really like the mediterranean conditions; Echinaceas and Agapanthus are doing exceptionally well and all the ornamental grasses are flowering beautifully, wafting gracefully in the warm breeze! Our Beetham grown scented leaf pelargoniums are loving the sun and warmth - the greenhouse is full of their scent and they have now started to flower with all colours of vibrant blooms.
The sweet peas which we planted a few weeks ago in large containers on the Growing Nursery are just beginning to throw out their delicate flowers with the irresistible heady scent of summer. We selected a good mix of colours to grow, including Matacuna, the oldest variety; while their bi-coloured purple flowers are smaller than the modern types, the scent is much stronger. It is a really good variety to look out for and grow at home. We pick the sweet peas daily, and sell the little posies on the Growing Nursery, but you do have to be quick off the mark, as they sell out as soon as they land.
Much of our present time is spent watering, but we continue to pot and get out perennials for sale from the polytunnels and plant coralle. There are new additions all the time, so it's always worth coming to have a look. I advise customers to buy something in flower each month and then they will have colour every year. Very often there can be a lull after the early summer perennials have finished, so it's good to fill the gaps, especially when so many gardens are open to the public.
Enjoy the gardens.
Alyson Woods, Nursery Manager