The cold winter has dragged on, but early spring is the most exciting time in the garden.
With its trailing sprays of sweetly scented blooms, wisteria is one of the highlights of late spring. It has the reputation of being shy to flower, and it’s true that seed-grown plants can take years to blossom. If however, you buy a named cultivar from a reputable nursery it should flower within a year or two. Most wisterias are pinkish-purple but nowadays the elegant pure white varieties are becoming increasingly popular. Traditionally the plant is grown as a climber along a wall, pergola or arch. If you don’t have a suitable
Globe artichokes are most often found in the vegetable patch, but they are equally at home adding drama to the back of flower borders with their two-metre high flower stems and spiky grey-green leaves. The purple-budded varieties make especially fine ornamentals. Buy rooted suckers and plant out in March or April. Alternatively grow from seed and harvest your plants in their second year.
Hanami – 14th April, Brogdale
Brogdale in Faversham is one of the few places in the UK to celebrate Hanami and with the largest collection of fruit trees in the world, it really is a sight to see! Enjoy a tour of the beautiful orchards before relaxing with a picnic under the trees.
There’s nothing shy about this wallflower, which will pep up your garden with its vivid purple blooms from mid-February right through until late summer. Like all wallflowers ‘Bowles Mauve’ needs a well-drained, sunny spot. It can be used to brighten up beds, rockeries and containers and will survive most winters, but may get leggy. To keep your display compact, trim back immediately after flowering and replace every few years.
Get Set for Courgettes
Secure your own personal supply of courgettes this autumn by planting seeds from now until late May. Sow one per pot, water well and leave to germinate in a greenhouse or propagator. Transfer young plants to a sunny, fertile, outdoor spot in early summer. Feed and water regularly and you’ll be harvesting crisp, tasty courgettes right through until the first frosts.
Seasonal gardening jobs
- Clear up flower beds and borders
- Clean your greenhouse
- Sow seeds that need a longer season
- Tie your trees
- Plant primulas, polyanthus, pansies or dwarf irises and mini daffs – they are all hard enough to be outdoors now
- Keep on top of weeds while the beds are still empty
- Plant shrubs and perennials
- Cut your lawn – put the mower on a high cut for the first few times, gradually lowering the height as the grass grows more
- Don’t be tempted to buy summer bedding just yet, as a late frost could kill them. Wait to give your plants a better chance.
You may not have heard of a widger, but once you’ve tried one you’ll wonder how managed without it. Its long, narrow concave blade makes it perfect for picking out and transplanting delicate seedlings.