Keep Calm and Carry On Gardening

If my inbox is anything to go by, a lot of people are doing a lot of thinking about their gardens just now.  No surprises there, as the not – exactly – a – lockdown got underway just as spring was entering its most energetic phase.  With at least another week or two of staying home ahead of us, formerly neglected gardens are being lavished with more TLC in a fortnight than they would normally get in a whole year.  A wander round the garden centre, checking out the new spring arrivals, followed by a coffee stop, is a real treat at this time of year under normal circumstances.  But with ‘normal’ fast receding to the realm of ‘once upon a time’, the shape of shopping has ‘changed, changed utterly’-  and a new kind of resourcefulness is born.

Many garden centres are delivering locally, so if you have one in your area and you’re in need of plants, compost or equipment, they would be high on the list of local businesses I’d be keen to support right now.  But if you can’t get a delivery arranged or you simply don’t need to buy anything new, there’s still lots of jobs that need doing in the garden.  Here’s what I’m keeping busy with this week:

  • Top of the list is watering, especially anything in pots or planted within the last twelve months – both of these groups need keeping an eye on to make sure they don’t dry out.
  • Climbing plants should be checked and new growth tied in if necessary – roses, clematis and honeysuckle are all growing strongly at the moment.  Gently bend tender new stems in a horizontal direction and tie in carefully, so they cover the support all the way down instead of shooting up to the top and only flowering overhead.
  • It’s getting late to divide perennials such as hardy geranium, sedum and nepeta, but if you’re quick you should just about get away with it.  Use the newly divided sections to fill in any gaps in borders and water in well when transplanted, and with a bit of luck they won’t even realise they’ve been moved!