September 2015: A Moseley Garden

Saturday, 31st October 2015

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This year I want to make an effort to save some seeds from the gardens I have made and tend. Normally self-seeders such as Foxgloves, Valerian, Lunaria annual (Honesty) Calendula (Pot Marigold) and Verbena Bonariensis do a pretty go job at replicating themselves around gardens but they need the right environment to germinate. When gardeners choose to put mulch over the beds it helps to keep weeds down and hold moisture in, but it often stops germination of the ‘wanted’ self-seeder, as can the appearance of autumn leaves in the winter which smother the light from our little friends if not cleared for spring germination.

So this year I am going to help nature a little by collecting ripe seed from the self-seeders (obviously a separate marked bag for each species/cultivar) and make up seed beds in an open bit of ground, by raking the tilth and sowing areas specifically for growing on. Once cleared and prepared, simple germination with raking and regular watering will create quick results. These seedlings can then grow on this autumn and over winter there. In the spring plants can be lifted and placed in the area you want them to flower in. If you can’t differentiate between seedlings I suggest labelling areas up with plastic labels (see York Supplies)

Talking of planting ahead; September sees the first available bare-rooted English Wallflowers that come in to the wholesale market in town. They are usually retailed in grocery stores and markets stalls in Kings Heath in bunches. The English Wallflowers are usually mixed colours from yellow, orange and reds. They are scented biennials and sometime if deadheaded can do a second year of interest. They need to go in the ground (where you want them to flower) fairly sharpish, as they will have been soaking in water for up to a week in transit and display. Water in and keep watered in their first couple of weeks if the September sun is warm. They do produce roots quickly and once established need no further watering. They flower from late March (in a warm year) until May and are a stunning wow factor in any beds at that time of year after Daffodil time.

Finally as I always say, this time of year cut back perennials that have finished flowering, and re-edge the lawn. It makes a massive difference to the look of the garden if you want a mini makeover.

Have fun!