Border Workshop Session 8

In May the traffic in the walled garden begins to build. Our Hot! border is a showcase for the Greenhouses.  There is still plenty to do. The Beschornaria is attracting plenty of nice comments.
Pin of Beschornaria

The bulk of the work is planting those tender annuals and perennials that have either spent the winter in the greenhouse or grown from seed this year. Three of the four bananas are ready as are Canna patens grown from seed this year. We’ll also be planting Echiums and some Cuphea ignea. We’re going to leave the other banana and the Brugmansia until the end of the month. Last year we help two sessions of the workshop in May but that’s not going to be necessary this year.

All the Cannas and Gingers that have overwintered in the border seem to have survived the short sharp frosts we’ve had over the winter but there is currently no sign of the Colocasia and Xanthosoma species. These were really well mulched and I’m not yet worried about them but don’t want to go scrabbling around under the soil as their young shoots are so easy to break.

Cannas need a relatively large hole. We are potting from 3l containers and the hole should be double or more. Usually, we use a border spade to create a ‘square’ one spit deep then remove the soil with a trowel into a trug. There is bark to backfill and some organic supplements. We’ll be planting in small formed ‘pits’ to retain moisture and later, mulch. We”ll need to be really tidy and accurate to be able to give the Cannas the best start whilst not damaging surrounding planting.

Planting specimens is a really useful skill for maintaining your border. When planting you’re trying to create a soil environment that the species will love and with room to grow into it. That means providing suitable nourishment, drainage and space. When planting out in a show space we often crowd the plants a little during the first year and then thin out in the second.So, for example, we’ll be thinning the Kniphophia in the autumn. It’ll probably feature in the first month of next year’s course.

Depending on numbers there are also some Lillies to plant out and various patching in current populations as well as laying some bark chips on the rear paths. I’m hoping for a good turnout.It’s going to be a gorgeous day so a hat and some sun screen might be useful.

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