by Andy Cawthray, 27th July 2020
As a gardener (and poultry breeder), I plan constantly; it’s essential for success in the borders and veg patch, and for financial success.
However, a lockdown was not something I’d ever planned for! That said, some things landed well for us.
For example, I didn’t switch the incubators on this year, so I didn’t spend lockdown feeding hundreds of hungry chicks with no market to sell them at, and as such, the loss of sales was reasonably countered by the reduction in costs.
On the plant side of things, all the usual fairs where we sell our peat-free perennials were cancelled, leaving us with lots of plant stocks gradually outgrowing their pots.
Fortunately, a week before lockdown we had a bulk delivery of compost, which meant we could keep the plants going. And while we lost income, it did give us back time to focus on the garden, something we rarely get the chance to do.
Tip of the Month
Encourage fresh new growth and flowering by trimming back spreading plants such as aubrieta, alyssum and candytuft after they’ve flowered
Q: I have a small pond in my garden and I’d like to add some plants to its shallow edges. What do you recommend?
A: The plants you need are ‘marginal plants’, in that they sit on the margin between the depths and the dry land. Different marginals will need slightly different levels of submersion, so a lot can depend upon your pond design. You could try caltha palustris (marshmarigold or kingcup) with its fresh foliage and yellow flowers, or iris laevigata and iris versicolour for a splash of blue. If you want a bit of red, then lobelia fulgens, will work well, too.