11 September 2007
With Jackie Power
A trained horticulturist and a keen organic gardener,
Jackie Power lives in Borough
The weather conditions for the last part of August and the beginning of September have been perfect for gardening with a mix of sunshine, showers and fine clear evenings.
Sunset is noticeably earlier now but there are still plenty of daylight hours to get routine tasks done and there are always preparations needed for next season.
Roses need continuous deadheading, unless they are the type that have the decorative hips in late autumn - these varieties include Rosa rugosa, Rosa multiflora or Rosa canina; summer pruning can be carried out on the hybrid tea roses to remove new growth from beneath the main flowering stem. This ensures energy is not diverted into new stems which would reduce overall flowering. Summer pruning can be done until mid September.
Roses can be difficult to grow successfully and need a programme of regular feeding, pruning/training throughout the season. They are also very susceptible to pests and diseases. But one or two rose bushes may be manageable and they can be grown in containers. Two gorgeous hybrid tea roses are worth considering - 'Blue Moon' a silvery lilac rose with a strong perfume or 'Chrysler Imperial' this has a luscious dark red flower with an intoxicating perfume. An old fashioned type - a true species rose first recorded in about the13th century in Europe is Rosa damascena - the Damask rose. It can grow up to about ten feet; it is very prickly (and more suitable for the garden) but the perfume is exquisite. The pale pink or red petals have been used to make the classic rose water and rose oil for centuries; it is also used in Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy. The planting season for roses starts in October and lasts until March.
Grass cutting has become a year round task and the high levels of rain during the summer months has encouraged strong growth, if areas of the lawn have become muddy and water-logged 'spike' the soil with a fork to help aerate and improve drainage. Apply sharp sand to these areas and re-seed. Rake over the lawn to remove debris and improve the overall aeration and drainage.
To increase plant stocks for next year, cuttings of various plants can be taken during early September. Use the soft summer growth from Fuchsias, Geraniums and herbs like Lavender, Rosemary and Sage. Put 4-6 inch cuttings (removing lower leaves) into small pots of cuttings compost (available from garden centres). Alternatively, tuck the cuttings directly into the ground in a border or flower bed where it is sheltered, water during dry spells. As temperatures fall later in the season, the cuttings may need to go into a cold frame or can be covered to ensure protection from harsher weather as winter approaches.
RAILTON ROAD SE24,
Leasehold, For Sale
TEA TRADE WHARF SE1, £1,295,000 , For Sale
TOWER BRIDGE WHARF E1W, £550 , per week, For Sale
PROVIDENCE SQUARE SE1, £1,600,000 , For Sale