Garden Blog – brought to you by Lottie Newitt, writer and TV Presenter from Alfresco Style Garden Boutique at Hatton Shopping Village. Visit www.hattonworld.com or call 01926 843411.
CREATE a fantastic flower display and keep your summer hanging baskets and containers looking fresh and full of blooms during the drier days of August, by keeping them well fed with a high potassium plant food. The potassium really helps to boost the plant root systems, as well as promoting improved flowering, giving you a much better display.
Our star plant of the month is Agapanthus, a beautiful mid-late summer flowering perennial plant that comes in different tones of blues and whites. Agapanthus are often seen in southern coastal locations as they thrive in warm and sunny conditions. There are more varieties now available which are hardier and more suitable for the more northern climate, for example Agapanthus Twister, an award-winning variety that looks like a firework once open, exhibiting blue tones that merge into bright white at the tips of each flower.
There are many other lovely plants to look out for this month too. Dress your outdoor space with colour by adding the plants listed below to your garden this month:
· Salvia- all varieties of Salvia plants are brilliant long-lasting summer flowering varieties – the bees love the blooms of them all.
· Hollyhock- a wonderful tall biennial summer flowering plant which can add great height to any garden through the summer months. The flower blooms can be super bright, almost tropical colours, or they can be pretty pastels which look lovely in traditional cottage style gardens.
· Heliopsis- add a little fire to your outdoor space with these fantastic blooms. The flowers can be found in an array of yellows, oranges and reds that can add plenty of warmth to your garden
Make a bug hotel – This is something fun to do with the children during the summer holidays. Use old air bricks to build up a small block, leave a few gaps in between some of the middle bricks where you can add straw & sticks for bugs to hide in. You could also add a small saucer of sugared water where bees can get a pit-stop before they carry on with their busy day!
If you have a pond in your garden, make sure you regularly keep the water topped up. Adding fresh water often prevents any level of your pond from drying out and helps to keep your pond thriving with water wildlife. By doing this you can also keep your pond a little clearer due to the movement caused by the fresh influx of water.
Weeds, weeds, weeds – They are everywhere at this time of the year. With warmer weather and lighter days, and the odd dash of rain, weeds really do come into their element. To help keep weeds supressed and to save time, lay bark chip on top of your border to cover any exposed soil. This will not only help to keep the weeds at bay, it can also look decorative too, it also helps to retain moisture in the soil.
Now’s a great time to freshen up the paint around the garden, if you have painted fence panels, wooden arches, sheds etc., it’s a good time to start freshening up the woodwork in your garden to prepare it for the wetter autumn and winter months.