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GARDEN

What to do in

May

With Matthew Pottage, Garden Manager at RHS Garden Wisley

Bright and shining bulbs Bulbs can give an exciting second dimension to any border, pot or green wall and one of the things that makes them so attractive is their simplicity. You can just buy a net of bulbs, poke them into a small space and wait; however, with a bit of extra care, they can give great value for money long term as well. Many bulbous plants are very forgiving and can reposition themselves into the correct orientation if disturbed or incorrectly planted. They can also pull themselves to the correct depth with the assistance of strong fibrous roots. Once bulbs have finished flowering, which is called ‘green leaf’ stage, they should be fed to assist with flower production for next year. You can give them a liquid feed, or simply distribute some granular feed around them. Green leaf stage

is also a good time to lift congested clumps of bulbs and space them apart, as overcrowding can start to hamper their performance if they are left unchecked. Once you’ve finished your bulbous housekeeping, head to your local nursery to look at late flowering summer bulbs, such as lilies and gladioli, which can be planted now for a mid to late summer display. At Wisley we’ve just planted a huge drift of white regal lilies through a north-facing border where the long, elegant, scent-filled trumpets will bring a sophisticated end to the summer. If you want to be the envy of your gardening neighbours, seek out the Turk’s cap or Lilium martagon (left) – it has flowers like miniature lilies arranged on a tall stem like a chandelier – quite a conversation point.

Blossom for every garden This year has been a great one for cherry blossom, and even those without an interest in plants must have noticed at least a few trees by the roadside, from a train or on their street. Cherries are an excellent way to bring some blossom into a smaller garden . They don’t need a hot summer to flower spectacularly and have the bonus of standing up rather well to cold weather. Wisley has had a lovely succession of cherries, so if you’re thinking of getting one, now is the time to see what takes your fancy and what you could accommodate in your patch before planting in the autumn. 58

Some of my favourites include the very early flowering cultivar Prunus ‘Kursar’ (above), followed by the pure white P. ‘Shirotae’, which has a spreading habit. If you have a tiny garden, the neat and well behaved P. ‘Pandora’ is always a spectacle, or if you only have a tight space and need something skinny, choose P. ‘Amanogawa’ which is sometimes aptly called ‘the flagpole cherry’ Fi-

nally, be sure to check out P. ‘Felix Jury’ – a personal favourite of mine with a dark pink, almost red flower that reminds me of a cherry inspired dessert – how appropriate! FIND OUT MORE

RHS Garden Wisley is the flagship garden of the Royal Horticultural Society, the world’s leading gardening charity. RHS Garden Wisley, Woking GU23 6QB. Visit rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley to find out more. vantagepointmag.co.uk

VantagePoint Magazine May 2014 - Godalming & Cranleigh  

The local magazine produced by local people for the local community

VantagePoint Magazine May 2014 - Godalming & Cranleigh  

The local magazine produced by local people for the local community

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