Monday 29 October 2012

Saving plants

Wednesday 24
Weather: The sun broke through today though it remained misty in the horizon.

I didn't start with the Exotic Garden for a change, as -2 °C was predicted for this Saturday morning, so we worked on saving tender plants instead. The prediction changed to 2 °C later. But it is better that we are covering our backs anyway. We selectively took out some Salvia confertiflora and Leonotis leonurus var. alba planted as bedding in the Barn Garden.

Clearing a bed is quite a meticulous process - we dug the plants out and then much reduced the rootballs and cut down the plant. We cut the leonotis back quite a lot, whilst the salvia we cut about half off - they flower from two year old wood and not cutting them right back allows them to flower better. They're quite brittle and we tried to be really careful especially flowering shoots that are poking up for next year. Both will be stored undercover, some of the salvias will be kept in the warm Begonia greenhouse.

The leonotis has been grown from seed by Emma and hasn't flowered this year, but hopefully after storing and growing them on more it will do so next year now.

The bed then is turned over about a fork/ spade length deep. Any roots or leaves are picked out. The soils is evened out with the back of a fork as much as possible then protected by boards - this is done so that when it rains the soil does not get too wet and swollen with water, especially as it is clay based.

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