The garden really is a beautiful and tranquil place to be at this time of year.
This year I have been particularly taken by the scents and sounds in my garden. The perfumes seem stronger than usual (maybe I’m imagining that but I that is how I feel about them) and the sounds are more beautiful. I could listen to the birds all day and what a pleasure it is to be woken by the dawn chorus.
Recently I spent time trimming some of my own hedges and shrubs. I grow Eleagnus x ebbingeii and Escallonia macrantha (spaced at approx. 2 feet apart) on the western boundary as they are very suitable windbreakers in coastal areas. On the southern side of the garden I have a Laurel hedge, again at 2 feet intervals. Within the garden I also grow Green Beech and Thorn hedges. I prefer to trim hedges manually with a clippers rather than using electric or petrol trimmers. I know that this makes for a slower job for the person cutting the hedge but it is healthier for the hedge and of course healthier for the gardener also. What better exercise could anyone get? Having said all of that I have had to give in and get help cutting some of my taller and wider hedges this year.
As I trimmed my hedges I also pruned any shrubs and heathers in need along the way. The rule of thumb with pruning is to prune flowering shrubs after flowering. By this I mean that spring flowering shrubs should be pruned in summer, summer flowering shrubs to be pruned in autumn and so on. Pruning cuts should be made at a slant in order to allow water to run away from the bud rather than resting on the cut and bud and causing rot.
The weather of late has been mixed as per usual. We do live in Ireland after all! I have been buoyed on by the amount of work I have been able to get through recently. There is something very satisfying about the tiredness arising from a day well spent in the garden.
Another job I got around to recently was to plant up a few terracotta pots to dress up my patio area. Into these pots I planted pink geraniums and white pansies. I like simple planting schemes but if you prefer other plants and mixed colours then go for it. Remember that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’.
The beauty of gardening is that it is a hobby or occupation where you can always see the results of your efforts.
• Clip fast growing hedges in order to keep them neat and tidy.
• Prune late spring flowering shrubs.
• Remove rose suckers by tearing them from the plant rather than cutting them, if possible.
• Spray roses against greenfly and black spot damage. Alternate sprays to avoid immunity.
• Take soft wood cuttings of shrubs and climbers. Cuttings should be 4-6 inches long, with a slanted cut under the bud.