This Month in the Garden – August 2019 with Derek Cox

During late June my son Johnathan came to take us for a weekend at his house that is just a few miles outside Norwich. Johnathan and his wife Tracy are very keen gardeners and as a consequence we usually visit a couple of nurseries or garden centres.
First we visited Taverham Garden Centre, which is only a short distance from where they live and it was here that I was surprised to see such a good layout and large stock of plants.
One plant that immediately caught my eye was a 12 inch (30cm) dome of large pink flowers and although I had not brought my reading glasses I could see it was a Lavatera so I bought one. When I got home I realized it was labelled Lavatera trimestris ‘Twins Hot Pink’, which is an annual that flowers from late April until July. Now I shall see if it sets seed and if so I shall sow it in the hope that next year will see me germinating a number of plants. While on the subject on annuals, last year I grew three Nemesia’s in a trough on my terrace, they passed away during the winter, but during April a seedling appeared in the border adjacent to my terrace and this has lovely small pink petals with a white eye. As a consequence while on a visit to Goscote Nurseries I spotted two Nemesia varieties and purchased 3 plants of ‘Easter Bonnet’ which having mainly white flowers would contrast well when planted at the rear of the double Begonias in the border on the right hand side of my lawn.
As there were only two plants left of ‘Rhubarb n’ Custard’. Which as its name suggests has yellow and rhubarb red petals I also bought these and planted them at the rear of my pink seedling, I have mentioned in the past how fond I am of Dianthus, which a great many of these are known to you as pinks and although I already have around 30 different varieties growing in my garden, at Taverham garden Centre Vi came across a stand full of double flowering Dianthus caryophyllus so she chose one each of red, pink and soft peach. As these only grow six inches (15cm) tall I have planted them in fresh compost in the gravel scree close to my house where we can appreciate their colour and scent.
During mid June heavy rain and gale force wind caused three of my 16 foot (5m) tall Argyrocytisus battandieri (formally Cytisus) to bend over almost to ground level. The great pity of this was the branches were massed with cone shaped clusters of yellow, pineapple scented flowers. As it was impossible to bring the branches back upright I had to saw them off. I cut all the soft growth off to put in my brown garden waste bin and the long hard branches were placed at the rear of the border were other branches lay as a bug home.
I have rose ‘Sweet Dreams’, pictured below left, growing in a container on my terrace and during early summer it was putting on a glorious show of double peach coloured flowers Then, like so many roses it developed black spot, which is an air borne fungus and although I am reluctant to spray plants with chemicals, I needed to spray the leaves with Provado Fungus Fighter to stop the fungus from spreading to the new growth.
We are now on our last 50 litre tub of ‘Charlotte’ potatoes and I must say how tasty they are especially when combined with my own ‘St George’ runner beans. May I finish by thanking Oasis Nursery of Brooksby Road Hoby for giving the Syston in Bloom committee around 100 pot grown herbaceous perennials most of which have been planted in the borders at the railway station and a number in the bed fronting the Syston library.