Roger's Ramblings

May 2001

It really is quite depressing how the wet weather continues, the ground is saturated and there has been little opportunity over the last month to get into the garden. I guess that most of the jobs which should have been carried out in April still need to be done.  The sun is shining this morning, let's hope it continues.

The weeds of course, still grow, so as soon as it is dry enough try to fork over borders to remove the weeds and relieve compaction, and attend to the lawn.

The spring blossom is bountiful, try and look out for the Amelanchier canadensis grown as a small tree or shrub. The pretty blossom and new leaves look great and the bonus is great autumn colours. Crab apples are great value little trees with a multitude of blossom and variety of leaf colours. Upright or weeping there's a place for one in every garden - with the added bonus of acting as a pollinator for your apple trees, and winter interest. 

Among the vast Prunus family, the flowering cherries are all familiar to us for their masses of spring blossom. Check out Prunus Amanogawa a very upright, narrow tree, and Prunus Pissardii Nigra, the 'Purple-leafed Plum'. For shrubs the Prunus cistena Crimson Dwarf is very pretty and makes a good hedge, and the Viburnum burkwoodii is now carrying the most fragrant blossom you could imagine.

On the subject of hedges, I am frequently asked about the suitability of conifers following all the publicity surrounding Leylandii. The Leylandii and Castlewellan Gold remain the first choice for a fast growing evergreen screen, and they can easily be kept under control with simple annual maintenance. I have one that has been 5 foot high for 20 years! Remember there are many other suitable conifers not quite as vigorous but very attractive. 

A good alternative to conifers is Common Laurel, which makes an elegant glossy evergreen hedge, or Privet, or Lonicera Nitida. If a less dense screen is required, consider a mixed shrub hedge. Choose shrubs with similar growth habits, and mix foliage colour and flowering times for a really attractive effect.

Well let's hope the weather improves, it's really important to keep on top of all the garden jobs before they get on top of you! Have a good month and do call in with any comments or queries, or just to have a chat.



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