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Sizzling Late Summer Colour

Sizzling Late Summer Colour

By the onset of August your summer bedding may start to look a bit tired, especially if you’ve have been on holiday and your neighbour hasn’t watered those pots and baskets enough in your absence.  There’s a remedy though as at this time of year there’s plenty of late summer perennials and bedding plants that you can plant to ‘perk up’ your pots and borders and that will keep on flowering up until the first frosts of winter.

 

Gerbera

These African perennials love the hot sun and well drained soils where they will flower continuously from Summer to Autumn.  Try planting them in tubs or containers in John Innes Compost No.2 with 10% of grit added.  Water them sparingly and they will add a touch of the exotic to any garden and may well survive the winter to come back next year in sheltered positions. Remove the flowers when they fade and cut some fresh ones for indoor arrangements too.

Varieties to choose include Sweet Glow with bright orange blooms and Sweet Surprise in a pretty pink and salmon.  They also come in white, yellow, pink to purple.

 

Coreopsis Sunkiss

Coreopsis is a very free flowering perennial that loves sun but will also cope with semi shaded positions.  Bees and butterflies love them too.  The variety Sunkiss has brilliant single yellow blooms with a red centre on the petals and will flower from June to October.  They are 35cm tall so ideal at the front of a border where it would look great contrasted with darker leaved plants such as Lobelia Cardinalis and Dahlia Bishops Children.   

 

Gaillardia Sunset Cutie

Is another bee and butterfly friendly plant with flowers in strikingly hot colours and large open centres that the bees find very easy to obtain pollen from.  Sunset Cutie has a very bright crimson flower with yellow cream edges and will flower from June to September on stems 30cm tall.  Reenergise your flagging container or bedding arrangements by adding one of these easy to grow plants.

 

Scabiosa Perennial

The Flutte series of Scabious comes in pink, blue and white and their pretty pincushion like flower clusters are another great insect attractor.  Their foliage is lovely fine green and frond like.  They are also sun and drought tolerant when established.  Just deadhead them to keep them flowering all summer long.  If planted in a border their ideal companion would be dwarf lavender such as L. Hidcote as they like similarly well drained conditions with mound like shapes and pastel colours.

 

Penstemon Amelia Jane

Penstemons come in a huge range of colours from white, pink, red to purple and blue on spires of nodding tubular bell like flowers.  To keep them flowering snap off the old stems and new buds will emerge.  Amelia Jane is a great variety with vibrant pink flowers and a white throat that grows to 90cm tall.

Grow them in pots of John Innes Compost 2 and protect with fleece or bubble wrap in the winter. They will survive most winters but it is worth protecting them particularly after the cold December of 2022.

 

Salvia Greggii Microphyllus

These free flowering summer perennials a great favourite with our customers.  These plants love a sunny place and free draining soils to survive the winter.   Their flower range in colour from white to pink red and purple while the foliage is often strongly scented of aniseed.  Great varieties are Pink Lips, 60cm tall with pink white flowers, and Red Lips and Amethyst Lips, both red and purple variants.  Also try Joy, a soft pink of 60cm and Royal Bumble’ red and a similar size.  Once established they require very little attention other than pruning away the old flower stems to induce continued flowering.

 

Cannas Indian Shot Plants

Cannas are one of my favourite tropical tender perennials and have large paddle like leaves in dramatic green, red or bronze and the bonus of vibrantly coloured flowers on top of the stems.  They are native to subtropical regions so will need winter frost protection by cutting them back around November time and their fleshy roots stored in frost free sheds in pots of dry compost.  Mango is our choice of variety but there are many from which to choose. They will grow big and strong if you feed them often with a liquid tomato food and pot them up in John Innes Compost No. 3.  Use some organic slug pellets sparingly around their bases too to keep slugs at bay.

Milton Ernest Garden Centre Horticultural Show this year is on Monday the 28th August.  Help us make it really special as we celebrate our 50th ANNIVERSARY YEAR.

There are classes for everyone and lots of prizes to win.

Enter your best Flowers Fruit and Vegetables, Cooking and Preserving, Art and Handy Crafts including Photography Childrens Classes and much more and share your experiences with us and other gardeners alike. Pick up a show schedule in store or go to the Web Site www.miltonernestgardencentre.co.uk

Summer Tubs and Hanging Baskets

Summer Tubs and Hanging Baskets

It’s May so time to get those patio pots, troughs and hanging baskets planted and enjoy lots of flowers around the garden all summer.
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Trees Trees And More Trees Please

Trees Trees And More Trees Please

Trees are probably the most important plant you can add to your garden.

Not only do they contribute to the air that we breath they are profoundly important for wildlife.  They provide shelter and homes for insects, berries and fruits for mammals and birds and shade for some plants, ourselves and our pets.

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You Really Do Get What You Pay For!

You Really Do Get What You Pay For!

Often the wet and cold winter weather of January will put our gardening jobs on hold for a while.  By February high pressure should herald less rain and even if cold the bright sunny days will finally encourage us to get some early gardening jobs done.
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