When I moved into my current house seven years ago, one of the things that persuaded me to buy it - along with the L-shaped garden (I’ve got the bottom of the gardens of the two houses to the right) – was the fabulous white-blossomed cherry tree. Sadly, it looked like it was suffering from bacterial canker, but seemed to be growing fine. Even more sadly is the fact that the canker has been getting worse since then, despite annual sprays with a copper fungicide.
This year it hasn’t flowered as well as it usually does (normally it’s completely covered in flowers) and the new growth looks sparse – I’m worried for it. But it’s such a feature of the garden I’d hate to loose it, so the fight goes on. I spent this weekend starting to prune out as much of the dead, weak and badly diseased growth as possible. But there’s still plenty more to take care of, which will have to wait until next weekend. Then I can give it its spring spray of copper.
As I was in a happy, ‘hacking’ mood, I decided to take the secateurs to some other plants. I’ve given the annual hard prune to the hardy fuchsias, perovskia, penstemon, caryopteris, phygelius and tidied up the cotinus. After pruning I always give a good feed with – usually – a granular rose fertiliser to put some strength back into the plants and ensure a good crop of flowers.
For more information on pruning, why not buy my book!
The daily early morning searches for lily beetles secured another four adults this week that were swiftly dispatched by the boot. Even though this vigil pays dividends I also decided to give all the lilies a quick treatment with Provado to bulk up the protection levels – there’s nothing like a belt and braces approach to gardening!
One of the things I love doing out of the garden is giving talks to gardening clubs and horticultural societies – and this spring has been especially busy. I’ve been up to Bingham in Nottinghamshire and Knaresborough in North Yorkshire, down to Abbots Langley and Olney in Buckinghamshire and Upminster in Essex, as well as lots around Peterborough and Cambridge. Subjects have ranged from pruning and propagation to pests and diseases, weeds and the weed-free garden and luscious lawns. This week I’m going up to Swayfield in Lincolnshire; I think this is the fourth time I’ve been there, so I must be doing something right. It’s probably the prizes I bring for the raffle!
This week was also busy on the BBC Radio Cambridgeshire front. On Thursday I was in the Peterborough studio answering questions on the weekly gardening phone-in. Then on Friday it was off to Jane Smith’s garden to record my monthly items for her programme. These are broadcast at around 7.45am on Saturday mornings. I used to do them over the phone, which meant crawling out of bed on a Saturday morning. Pre-recording not only does away with this chore, but also means we get some great atmospheric recordings, including bird song, tractors, jets flying overhead and the barking of her two dogs when someone walks past!
Next Sunday I’m back in the Peterborough studio for Dougan Does Gardening from 11am to 1pm.
Ah, the busy world of a gardening journalist!
And, of course, this weekend involved plenty of activity in the veg garden. You can read all about this on my RHS grow your own veg blog.
Have a great week in the garden.
SEXIST TREE VALUATION ROCKS NATION
7 years ago