Gardening / The lazy days of summer gardening

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“Romantika”… the perfect name for a stunning clematis.

THE next few weeks are a quiet time in the garden and, with the welcome rain of the last few weeks, most are looking decidedly better with an abundance of summer flowers.

Cedric Bryant.

Forget about the weeds, they can keep for a few weeks, although if you mulched  in spring there will be very few.

This quiet time means no heavy gardening work is necessary but if you haven’t already done so, remove any leaves from the spring bulbs. Leaving them to rot down unfortunately provides a great haven for slugs and snails.

All these leaves can go on to the compost heap.

A more upright job is that of regularly deadheading the roses to encourage another burst of flowers.

The ever expanding clematis vines will need constant tying on to wires or lattice. Its huge flowers make others in the garden pale into insignificance. I can’t help but boast about two of our clematis; magnificent in their boldness: there’s Clematis “Romantika”, one of the darkest purple cultivars available, with such a profusion of flowers that one can hardly see the leaves and, likewise, “General Sikorski”, bred originally in Estonia, with its mauve to mid-blue flowers 15-20cm across.

They grow under the rich, red leaves of the stunning maple Acer “Bloodgood”, combined with a lower backdrop of Daphne “Eternal Fragrance”, which is now in flower.

Different varieties of daphne provide months of wonderful fragrance and just a few sprigs can fill a whole room with the sweet aroma.

Another gentle holiday task is cutting back by half michaelmas daisies and chrysanthemums over the next few weeks. This seemingly severe pruning doubles and triples the number of flowers in autumn, their main flowering time.

PICKING veggies in the garden requires no effort, at the same time tie some of them up such as peas and tomatoes as they shoot skywards.

Roses… in all their glory at Old Parliament House.

TAKE time out for a relaxing walk through our Botanic Gardens to enjoy the native flowers and birds. It’s a perfect place to take visitors, especially those from overseas. Alternatively, walk through the Old Parliament House Rose Gardens where the sheer volume of flowers is always a photographer’s dream.

PART of the relaxing holiday time for the stay-at-homers is to plan an autumn garden that’s more than just spring bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. The large range of autumn-flowering bulbs gives a continuity of colour in the garden, many flowering well into winter.

And don’t forget the wonderful range of autumn-flowering perennials, for example, Anemone hupehensis or Japanese wind flowers, nerines, sedums, salvias and lobelia

IF it’s too hot in the middle of the day, relax with a good book. Our libraries have an extensive range of garden books you can browse at no cost.

AND, finally for this year, a thank you to all my readers for the comments and helpful suggestions. Wishing everyone a happy New Year with time to enjoy gardens wherever you are.

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Cedric Bryant
Trained horticulturist and garden designer with over 30 years experience in the industry.

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