The Summer Holidays are over but the veg garden is still going strong. This is my first attempt at growing pumpkins for Halloween and the weather must have been ideal this year. Planted the seeds back in June and when I cut the leaves back last week this is what I found! All that rain has resulted in some rapid growth. There are only two pumpkins but they are whoppers. They are a bit pale but hopefully now the leaves aren’t covering them they will start to turn a lovely orange. I’m not sure if they will grow any more but I will take my bathroom scales out and weigh them soon. I’ve put them on roof tiles so they won’t rot and put Panda there for scale!
This time last year we were worrying about frosts. Not so in May this year but hopefully you weren’t caught out by the torrential rain over the last few days. With very warm days( and nights) the crops have come on a treat but so have the weeds!
Many of the shrubs such as camellias have put on a huge amount of growth and the end of May and early June are perhaps the most wonderful and satisfying time of year with magnificent display of colours in the borders. Azaleas, rhododendrons, irises and lupins stand proud. Foliage is at its best and roses abound. There is still work to do but do take time to soak in the glorious show the garden puts on.
Plant out cauliflowers in rich soil. Plant out Brussels sprouts, courgettes, marrows and keep them watered. Sow beetroot, turnip and runner beans for succession and this earlier sowings. Later in the month plant out leeks by simply making a hole with a dibber, dropping the seedlings in and filling up the hole with water to settle then in. Weeds will be growing like fury so keep the hoe moving and where necessary such as the onion bed, weed by hand. Earth up the potatoes to prevent the ones near the surface going green. Watch out for carrot root fly and the leek fly which has become such a pest in this area. Use fleece to cover where necessary. Plant outdoor tomatoes.
June is a good time to apply selective weed killer to the lawn and add a feed too but water in if it doesn’t rain. If there’s a drought then don’t mow the grass too short – its’ a good idea to raise the blades a notch or two.
In the flower garden it is time to plant out bedding plants and patio containers and provide support for tall plants such as delphiniums. Spring flowering shrubs may be pruned once the flowers have faded such as, weigela and mock orange. Lilacs too should be pruned down to the next two shoots below the flowers and broom leaving about a third of the current season’s growth. Once again check for slugs and snails and pick them off and dispose them. Do so before they lay any more eggs !!
Chairman’s Summer Message
The Society’s 125th Show will take place on Saturday 28 July in the grounds of The Stoke Poges School. This an amazing milestone so let us all work together to make it as successful and enjoyable as ever!
Earl Howe and/or the Countess have accepted our invitation to present the Cups and Trophies. There is a new Trophy presented by Edward Guinness C.V.O., specifically for 16 to 30 year olds, and he is hoping to be able to present it himself.
Many thanks to all those who supplied plants and cakes and who came to buy at the Plant Sale, which raised nearly £1,000 to help cover the cost of the Show. We also owe a debt of gratitude to the Co-op and its members for a generous contribution of £1,638.04 towards the cost of this year’s Show.
Whatever the weather between now and then, I hope everyone will have something to exhibit in the Show; and, also, that we will all encourage our friends and neighbours to look in their gardens and allotments to see what there is that is worthy of being exhibited in the Show. We may be surprised to find things that are ready at the right time.
Entries can come from wider afield up to a 50 mile radius, so if you know keen gardeners, please tell them about the Show, let them know that they can see the schedule on our website, www.hortsoc.org
and enter online. For further information contact Pat Rofe on 01753 662695 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, please spread the word about the children’s classes, the art, crafts, home economics, photographic and other classes, there is sure to be something in the schedule that appeals.
Janet Cottrell, Chief Steward for the Show, has provided further information. As she has said, the Show doesn’t just happen, we need volunteers to help make the event as memorable and smooth running, as in previous years. If you have time to spare and would like to help in any way, please get in touch with me on email@example.com or 01753 648040 or contact Jon Homan on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01753 662166