Must Do Gardening Tips for June


Must Do Gardening Tips for June

Thoughts of Michelle Morgan on patio gardening:

  1. If you are not happy with how your pot plants are looking change them as the season is too short to put up with something that displeases you.
  2. Pot stands on wheels make it so much easier to move pots around.
  3. Calendulas are cheap to buy. Three plants will fill a large pot and give a display all summer.
  4. Blueberries do well in pots with ericaceous compost. You will have to net them when fruit has formed.
  5. The downside of having a lot of pots is constant watering and feeding.


Advice from Gerry Crump, the gentleman gardener.

  1. Don’t plant early as it’s just a waste of resources.
  2. Take care of your tools and they should last a lifetime.
  3. When planting seeds always label them properly.
  4. Do not take too much on, or you will not enjoy the garden.
  5. Grow what you like to eat and what the ‘other half’ likes to look at.


June is the month when show growers put their hanging baskets up to display. If that’s what they do then it’s good enough for me. It is very tempting to put them up early but patience will ensure a better display. Once the sweet peas come into flower, start picking for the house as the more you pick the more they flower. Try not to let any set seed early in the season or the plant will think it’s job is done. Using a hoe on dry days in the boarders is a good way of killing annual weeds. If we need to water please follow the advice of experienced gardeners by watering early in the morning or late at night. When watering the borders, a good soak once a week should be adequate. Don’t think about watering your lawn unless you have a lot of time on your hands. Grass is tough and can withstand a drought but, by watering a little, you will encourage the roots to come closer to the surface and make the grass more susceptible in dry weather.

‘No Mow May’ is the latest must do according to experts and TV gardeners. Not so sure about that myself. On the plus side it has stopped your cats killing so many birds as there are a lot more mice running around in the long grass for them to bring home for you. If you have a lovely weed free lawn then letting it grow for a month it’s not going to provide much nourishment for insects etc. On the other hand your lawn may be full of weeds so crack on and spread the seeds over your neighbour’s gardens! It seems to me those popular presenters can tell us what to think sometimes. I have been bitten and stung as much recently as I have been over previous decades so will take some convincing that there are less insects around presently. I have to add though that it is probably my fault that I get bitten so often because when Monty Don told us we should have a ‘No Wash April’ I thought he meant me and not my car. No wonder I had to sleep in the shed!!

On the allotments the pigeons are testing the resolve of gardeners by pulling up young onions and eating the new growth of brassicas. The only way to combat this is by netting and using stakes as support. They are also partial to soft fruit, so be warned. They say that bamboo grows quickly but just plant a row of any veg seed on a clean cultivated patch and the minute you turn your back it’s covered in weeds. This is why growers plant in rows as weeds don’t grow in a straight line. Thinning out the crop on fruit trees is a task that needs to be done to get larger fruit. We do get a June drop where trees will drop fruit to look after the stronger ones, but often it’s not enough to prevent branches breaking under the weight.

Thank you to everyone who supported us for helping to make the plant sale such a success and helping the Wenvoe Wildlife Group continue their outstanding work all around Wenvoe.

Take care and happy gardening


The Village Gardener



A Substantial Contribution From The Tuckers

Wenvoe Wildlife Group

We are thrilled yet again to be receiving a substantial contribution from the Tuckers following their plant sale. This will be in excess of £800. Our thanks to everyone who manned the stands, attended on the day and spent money as well as donating raffle prizes and plants for the sale. Particular thanks to Mike and Glenys who made the whole event possible. Where would we be without them!

Dog walkers who visit the Upper Orchid Filed will have noted that the dog poo bin has been removed. When the bin was installed 10 years ago, the next nearest bin was in Grange Park. WWG members have emptied the bin ever since but as all other bins are emptied by the Vale of Glamorgan Council and bins are now also available at the corner of Walston Road, Vale of Glamorgan Council were approached to empty it. Even though payment was offered, VOGC was not prepared to help and the decision was made to remove it. We were happy to leave the bag dispenser. However, this has been abused by dog owners who have been placing filled bags in it and so this is also being removed.

Please help to keep this wildflower meadow tidy by taking your dog bags to the nearest bin and help ensure that we retain our Green Flag status. Thank you.



How Old Is That Meadow?

How old is that meadow?

Ever wondered how old that meadow is? A new method should give you an idea. Count the number of Creeping Buttercups with more than 5 petals in any hundred and multiply by 7. So if you find 2 buttercups in any hundred the age of the meadow is roughly 14 years.

The first challenge is to know your Creeping Buttercup. There tend to be 3 types of buttercup in our meadows. Bulbous Buttercups are quite uncommon in our parish but look behind the petals and if the sepals are folded back it is Bulbous. It is much more likely that you have either Meadow or Creeping Buttercups. Look online to see the differences but the easiest indicator is to see if there is a groove or furrow in the stalk leading to the flower. If there is you have Creeping Buttercup. Most buttercups have five petals but occasionally they will turn up with more than 5 and as these buttercups can spread by cloning, each new plant from these will also have over 5. Scientists have correlated the numbers with meadows whose age is known to confirm the formula.

Why not try this out with the children? All they have to do is check for a groove and then count the petals. Simple!



Preparing For The Platinum Jubliee



The memorial soldier overseeing the planting up of flower beds in red, white and blue for the Jubilee.

Greenmoor Nursery in St Brides, Wentloog, gave us a huge discount and some free plants when he realised the work the team does and the quite unbelievable age of the personnel. Always a pleasure to go there; the plants are reasonable and in great condition.

We hope that you will enjoy this splash of colour to mark the Platinum Jubilee.



Burying A Time Capsule




The Environment Team

The Environment Group will meet again on the 13th June and part of their work will involve burying a time capsule to celebrate the Jubilee. Team member Gareth ‘sing song’ will bring along some photographic plates of him performing at the palace, on the birth of Her Majesty.



A Glorious April Morning


On a glorious April morning the somewhat under strength team formed a couple of flower beds around the memorial stone in preparation to celebrate the Jubilee in June. The area will be planted up in royal colours hopefully at our next gathering; we will need to add some more soil to help make the beds visible from the road.

While digging our resident choirmaster Gareth sing song unearthed some interesting artefacts which are at least a hundred years old, We know this as one of the team who shall remain nameless said he remembered nicking the bottle from the back of the pub as a teenager. Now we know why he wears a Tag.

Our next meeting will be at the same venue on Monday May 9th at 9.30am.

If anyone has some red, white or blue bedding plants that would be great, thank you.



Must Do Gardening Tips for May


Must Do Gardening Tips for May

Rita Edwards gives her sound advice.

  1. Be careful of late frosts, cover tender plants with fleece.
  2. Hold hanging baskets back till the end of this month, as show people do.
  3. Check roses for black spot.
  4. Sow nasturtium seeds in gaps as ground cover.
  5. Pinch out tips of fuchsias to form a a bushier plant.

Mat Holland of Dyffryn has his say.

  1. Leave daffs to die down for at least six weeks after dead heading.
  2. Take fuchsia cuttings and just plant in ground around mother plant, so you know what plant it came from
  3. Plant runner beans seeds direct into rows, for a later crop.
  4. Dead head tulips before they set seed.
  5. Make sure all plants that need support are staked by now.


Advice on controlling pests without resorting to chemicals has TV gardening personalities telling us that we need to strike a balance with nature and learn to live with these pests. The R H S has declared slugs are no longer pests. If my garden was the size of a Tesco car park I’m sure the critters could munch away without causing me too much concern. On the average plot a pest infection can be devastating, ruining the growing season.

These same people have said that if you have a problem with aphids you need to buy plants that attract ladybirds. For goodness sake if you have aphids you will definitely attract ladybirds, who will then breed and whose larvae are voracious aphid eaters. All without splashing out on special plants.

Another stunner of an idea was to attract more birds to your garden so they could eat the slugs. Be honest, have you seen garden birds eat slugs, because I haven’t. The best animals to have around your garden to help control slug problems are hedgehogs, frogs and toads. A lot of Wenvoe residents have hedgehog boxes and this has resulted in the village becoming a hotspot for these mammals which is bad news for slugs. Frogs and toads spend very little time in water, they prefer a damp area and cover. Toads only use the water in the mating season so you only need a small pond to accommodate these amphibians. Helen, Hugh & Mathew of Vennwood have foxes visiting their garden taking care of their Gastropods. The slug problem has been with gardeners and growers forever so the balance must still be ok. Just one more thing, the French won’t even eat them.

Right then – are we ready to plant out knowing we will have a fight on our hands to keep the plants safe? If you can be patient and hold back your bedding plants a little while, the warmer soil will give them a good start. As has been said many times, to get the best from your hanging basket display keep them sheltered until the very end of May. Sow some hardy annuals direct into the garden where there are gaps to fill. With the weather warming up and less rainfall the pots will need extra attention, try not to let them dry out or the plants will not recover to their full potential. Spring flowering shrubs that have finished blooming need to be cut back as soon as possible. Weeding is one of the tasks that has to be done but we don’t enjoy. You can keep pulling them up but your back won’t thank you for it, the best is always little and often on dry days with a Dutch hoe, just keep cutting them off and it will weaken perennial weeds and kill annual ones. Leave the waste to shrivel on the soil but do this before they set seed.

Allotment holders are busy as usual with this years rhubarb looking good throughout April. Eric & Joyce donated some of their crop to the Wenvoe Wild life Group to sell at the plant sale in April. The allotmenteers are obviously well informed about the fact that bare soil is the major factor in soil erosion as there very few patches with nothing growing. The library will be running the Village show again this year and Gordon Jones is intent on keeping his prize veg a secret with an extra high fence and a guard cat.

Take care and happy gardening




Conifers at the Community Centre


On Monday 14th March the team set about tidying up the front border and removing rubbish from under the hedge of the conifers at the Community Centre. A couple of members were absent. The usual reasons for not turning up are forgetting the day or not remembering where we are supposed to be working. This problem has now been resolved by Big John who has set up a What’s App group; the really old ones are being fitted with trackers by their carers. One member has a tracker on his ankle fitted by a government official, he claims it’s because they may need to contact him if an emergency arises!!

Next meeting – 11th April at 9.30 by the library.

The building on the immediate right is part of the Old School (the headmaster’s office), which is now the Com-munity Centre. Next door is the headmaster’s home followed by the old police house where the infamous Dai Cannon now resides.


Last Wildflower Meadows Near Cardiff

Wenvoe Wildlife Group

Visitors to the Upper Orchid Field will have seen that the field has been cut. This is one of the last wildflower meadows near Cardiff so is an invaluable resource for wildlife as well as being a popular recreational location for walkers, joggers and other visitors. An annual cut is essential to prevent brambles, ash saplings and the ranker grasses from taking over. When we started maintaining the site over 10 years ago this was just what had happened and most of the slope was covered in self-seeded trees. Our contractor, John Crockford, has done a great job, particularly in controlling the brambles which had started to take over the top of the field



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