I hope all is well with your gardens, it's a busy time as always. Dead heading, regular feeding, weeding and watering are a must to prolong the flowering season. Cut back your herbaceous geraniums and you should get another show of flowers this summer. When watering the tomato plants, try to keep the leaves dry. Wet or damp leaves can promote fungus growth. If this is the case then spraying with fungicide is necessary. Any shrubs that have flowered can be trimmed back now, but please look up on line or in a book to see how much you can safely take off, it's very difficult to stick the bits back on if you've been over enthusiastic. Runner beans are going to get black fly at sometime and the best way of dealing with this is to rub it off with your fingers – a bit yuck but it works.
Clare Ellis and a few volunteers from the Library had a plant sale at the end of May to raise funds. The plants on sale were great value. Gordon Jones brought brilliant plants along, better than you would find in most Garden centres.
This is the time of year when roses are in their pomp, all the effort in early spring will have paid off. Just keep dead heading and feed again now, also watch out for pests and disease.
While working in Greave Close I met up with Gwyndaf Breese. He was attending a garden next to his own and showed me the work he has done and is in the process of doing. The garden is in a lot of shade but this cottage garden shows that this man knows his plants. Gwyndaf's front garden has a lot of wood sculpture in it, demonstrating his love of all things wooden. There is a lot I don't know about this man and his talents so I will be taking a note pad the next time I see him. A bit of science now . Clive Phillips of Burdens Lane has spent most of his life in horticulture. Clive told me that a lot of us are missing a trick and not checking the PH of the soil. The alkaline or acidity of a substance is measured in PH units with a scale running from 0–14. A PH of 7 is neutral, lower numbers are acidic whilst above 7 is alkaline. Most plants like a PH of 6.5. The way to achieve this is with lime and a well balanced fertiliser. Blueberry,Azalias and Rhododendrons insist on a PH of 4.5 to 5.5. The Wenvoe area sits on limestone so you would think there would be enough lime in the soil, but increasingly wet winters and improved drainage means that a lot of nutrients get washed away.
On the 11th June I went with Glen to Llysworney near Cowbridge where six gardens were open under the National Garden Scheme. It was a really good day out, great gardens and lovely people. The criteria is strict but nothing to get in the way of some of the gardens in Wenvoe. There must be some who would love to show off their gardens and raise money for good causes.
This month the allotment holders held an informal meeting at the Wenvoe Arms as a get together and to exchange views. Quite a lot was discussed and plans are afoot to put together a newsletter to keep people informed of progress. Anything that promotes gardening has to be a good thing. Happy gardening