Tuesday, July 13, 2021

IT’S said that “a week is a long time in politics” and the same might apply to gardening at this time of year.

In the last few weeks there has been a big change in all growing plants where they have put on a huge amount of growth and, it might be a puzzle to anyone relatively new to gardening but, it is a normal pattern of events.

Sherlock Holmes

It might be a mystery to many people but, Sherlock Holmes would say “It is elementary my dear Watson” because, it is all based on logic and fact. If you have followed the simple rules of what, how and when to sow or plant and, carried out the routine maintenance of feeding, watering and protecting your plants from predators, you will then be rewarded with this explosion of growth in recent weeks.

Only downfall

The only downer in this process is if you did not carry out some or all of the rules as, then you might have failures in germination or dying plants or some that have not grown much at all. The facts are that the plants take some time to build up strength from being in the soil before getting ready for the start of the race and if you did not feed or water them during the dry weather it will be a false start where the plants will not even budge.

Last chance   

Some people tell me they can hear or see plants grow and, of course it is not true but, I indulge them as it is summer but, I can understand what they are witnessing as, the growth can be magical. Actually, there is just about enough time to catch up for the next few weeks and that is by keeping the plants weed free, watered almost every day (unless it rains like mad) and a weekly feed until the end of August.

Black and white

Many aspects of gardening are either black or white and that is a good way to tackle the hobby until, you get more involved and then you discover that there are many grey areas, something that is beloved of the legal profession, among others. It is an aspect that you can embrace or simply not bother and be satisfied the way you are. But there are many people out there who become extremely knowledgeable about a specialist line in gardening and would know much more than anyone of us in commercial horticulture. It is a case of “to each their own” in our free world.


Without getting into a long discussion about the colour black, I might as well say that it is an elusive but highly desirable aim among plant breeders. That does not stop breeders naming plants with the word ‘Black’ included in the description whereas, the colour would be best described as a dark shade of mauve or purple. Buddleia ‘Black Knight’ and Magnolia ‘Black Tulip’ are two that come to mind.


On the other end of the scale, white is a great addition to any garden and can be used with abandon.

I have seen a few themed gardens entirely composed of white flowering plants and they were stunning and reminded me of a decorated wedding scene. I just wonder would that be too much seeing that every day for the entire season.


Removing dead or fading blooms from all your summer flowers, roses and perennials will encourage more fresh flowers to appear. It is also a pleasure to pick a selection of flowers to admire in the house, especially those that have a scent such as roses and sweep peas. Reduce black spot-on roses by picking off infected leaves and then spray with a preventative control.

If you have any queries or comments you are welcome to share them with me on (051) 384273 or [email protected] and if of general interest I will include it in a future newsletter.

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