BORDER PLANNING WORKSHOP Session 7 April 10th 2016

With the weather warming up the action is hotting up in the walled garden. It certainly looks as if the Cannas have all survived and there are also shoots on the H. greenii although not yet on the other gingers. The bananas have been unwrapped and both the ‘Maurelii’ and the ‘Montbilliardii’ look in good shape. The green Ensete ventricosums both showed signs of rot and had to be cut quite substantially. They are both in ‘intensive care’ on a hot bench at 30°C but they both now appear to be growing – a sign that the rot may not have reached the corm. The next few weeks will tell… There is no sign of the dahlias as yet either those left planted in the border or those that spent the winter in the cold frame. These latter are now back in the greenhouse. The lifted Cannas are also doing well in the greenhouse. There are some ‘Roma’ and some ‘Wyoming’ available to members of this workshop. There may be others as well. There are also some H. greenii. Let me know this week if you would like any of these.

You’ll notice that there have been some moving and planting since the last session. The Melianthus has been moved and the Zantedeschias thinned. I’ve abandoned the Alpinias in the border. We still have one in the greenhouse and there is also one in the herb garden but I’ve given up trying to flower them outside. You’ll notice that some daylillies and some Euphorbias have been planted out. Most of the bulbous planting is showing now although there seems to have been some squirel damage.

The weeds have also started to grow and this is our number one task for Sunday. We need to weed and mulch to get ready for further spring planting but we need to do this very carefully as we do not want to disturb the young shoots of herbaceous material which is just above or just below the surface. We also need to weed the paths at the back of the bed and continue the fight against the thistles at the west end of the border. We’ll be mulching with well-rotted manure.

The other thing we need to do on Sunday is to make an inventory of germination from the seeds we sowed last time. We’ve had good germintation for most things but have we got enough for everyone to have the number of plants they need for their designs? We may need to resow some things. We finally have some germination from the Ricinus ‘New Zealand Purple’ seeds. At the moment we are overwhelmed with the ‘Zanzibarensis’ and ‘Zanzi Palm’ cultivars. If there is time we should also do some pricking out. Volunteers have already done a great job pricking out some of our April sowings but as a group we ought to be doing more of this ourselves.

Your seedling should be ready by early may.

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