Latest post from MARKSVEGPLOT – a blog about food and gardening in England”
Over the years, my veg-plot has slowly begun to include more flowers. At present I’m contemplating removing a few of my shrubs and replacing them with flowering perennials. Shrubs are all very well, (low maintenance and all that), but can be a bit dull for large parts of the year. This year, my Dogwoods have not done well, and their Summer foliage was greatly disfigured by insect attack, so I have decided to remove a few of them. I’m not exactly sure what the plan is yet – it’s only just beginning to take shape – but part of it will consist of planting perennial flowers, so I’m beginning to accumulate the necessary stock, without having to buy any new plants.
Over the last couple of days I have been out in the garden dividing and re-potting some suitable contenders, such as Helenium, Echinacia and Rudbeckia. In each case, the root-mass of my one existing specimen was cut into a number of smaller plants (using an old kitchen knife), and re-potted into small pots for the Winter. I plan to keep as many of them as possible protected from the worst of the weather under coldframes and in mini-greenhouses. I’ll plant them out in my new border arrangement next Spring.
The other day I also potted-up several self-seeded Verbena Bonariensis.
|Verbena Bonariensis, and Rudbeckia|
The one thing I am sure of is that the Verbenas are going to go at the back, because they do get really tall. Nevertheless, I’ll probably pinch them out before they reach their full height, like I did this year, because this makes them much bushier and more in keeping with the scale of my small garden.
You will have understood of course that the beauty of my plan is that I have about six months in which to decide what comes out, what goes in, and where!
|3 x Echinacea in the foreground|
At this time of year, as I clear away the spent growth and faded flowers, I always keep my eyes open for self-seeded seedlings and the occasional volunteers brought in by the birds, because these are a good source of free plants for the following year!
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