BY CLIVE SULLIVAN
OF CAMERON LANDSCAPES AND BALLYLESSON GARDEN CENTRE
year the showers have given April a miss and gone straight
onto May. With all this wet and windy weather herbaceous
shrubs have been taking a battering, not to mention bedding
plants shot through with hail!
It's easy to stake
herbaceous plants. Aquilegia. Dicentra and Verbascum are
examples of soft stemmed shrubs that would benefit from
support. You can use bamboo canes, pea sticks, or prunings
if you need to save money! Cross the twine between stake and
stem in a figure of eight shape loop to prevent the stem
rubbing against the stake. For larger herbaceous shrubs, use
three or four canes around it, sloping them outwards for
growth, simply tying string around the canes in a couple of
rows for support. Incidentally, check the staking on trees
too. The rubber ties should not be so tight they rub the
bark off. Use some soft material to cushion the tree tie. Do
not be tempted to cut back Daffodil or Tulip leaves yet.
Wait until they got yellow. Now they could do with a bit of
a foliar feed, just before disappearing until next year.
This way you'll get more and better flowers next year.
Dividing Herbaceous stock, conventionally done in the
Autumn, can be done in Spring with Heucheras; eg, 'Palace
Purple' After three years a Heuchera should be divided up
after flowering to maintain vigour. Discard the older woody
middle and replant the healthy side, growth of your clump.
Deutzias are one of those useful summer flowering shrubs
that fill in a gap between Cytisius and the Hydrangea
flowering time. The variety 'pom pom' is particularly
outstanding. Also excellent now is Solomons Seal (Polygonatum)
and Rogersia Pinnata, just coming into interest in early
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