October 01, 2019
It has been a good year so far for gardening. Although last year’s extreme heat was good for many annual and tropical plants, in the last 9 months we have seen plenty of warm spells interspersed with regular rain showers. Yes, we have seen occasional record temperatures, but these have not been prolonged. Plants and lawns can cope with this, and have thrived in these conditions. Lawns in particular suffered during summer 2018; as mentioned last month, if you still have bare patches a year later, best to reseed now before leaf-fall. Likewise, replace conifers which have not revived.
One of the great pleasures of producing beautiful blooms in your garden is to enjoy them as cut flowers. If you were fortunate enough to visit the late summer flower show at RHS Wisley in September, you will have seen the exquisite dahlias on display. Multi-coloured, ranging from small pom-pom to dinner plate sized cactus varieties, they all vied for attention. Few flowers have such a vibrant offering, especially in early autumn; they will all last well in a vase in the home. Re-cut the stems and replace the water every couple of days to prolong their beauty.
Other flowers can be just as successful to enjoy inside. Alstromeria are a natural long-lasting and reliable flower, which is why they are so popular with florists. Chrysanthemums will perform well, but remember to remove lower leaves that would otherwise be under water. For summer blooms, consider delphinium, larkspur, gypsophila and cosmos. Just a single rose flower in a vase will bring scent and joy, a vaseful even more so!