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Getting to know the garden
9:20am Saturday 9th June 2012 in Gardening
GINA PARKINSON on a primula which was a present from a neighbour and loves its place in the dappled shade.
NOW we are into our second summer in this garden it is beginning to feel our own. After having a small space for such a long time, it was quite intimidating to move to a much larger area.
So I was glad last year to just spend the time pottering getting to know the garden and how it grows.
When anyone takes on a new garden, be it the blank canvas of a new build or a mature garden attached to an older property, it seems the space only becomes one’s own once it begins to take on a personal history.
This can be what is so hard to leave behind when we move from a house and its garden. Although plants can be taken out of the old garden, it seems selfish to take everything – after all, those plants are part of that space, not the new one. So, loved plants are left with their history unknown to the new owners.
Our garden is becoming very much our own with new plants and other items springing up: a rose arch, a silver wedding gift from my husband’s mum, a wheelbarrow from my mum and a rose bush dug from my parents’ garden. We bought that rose on a trip to David Austin’s rose garden several years ago. Another new arrival is a pink hydrangea from a friend, chosen by her son who we knew well as a small child. The history is building up nicely.
My new neighbour gave us some candelabra primulas last year she had grown from seed. Primula japonica ‘Appleblossom’ died back over the winter but began growing again in early spring in the dappled shade from shrubs under which the plants have thrived.
They catch the afternoon sun but look at their best in the morning when the light is gentler and the lovely pink of the petals glows.
As the flowers mature they become paler and a second crop will sometimes follow the initial blooms. It is a fairly tall species growing 60cm-80cm high, the stocky stems rising from rosettes of leaves that grow close to the ground.
Although sometimes classed as bog plants, primula japonica and other candelabra, primulas don’t necessarily need very wet conditions in which to grow. However, they do best in soil that doesn’t dry out and will cope with sun or preferably part shade.
In the veg patch
JUNE is the time to get everything into the veg patch now that the danger of frost is over, unless we are to be very unlucky.
The long weekend for the Damond Jubilee finally gave me the time to get everything waiting by the house planted out in the vegetable garden.
Outdoor cordon and bush tomatoes, together with outdoor cucumber, are in the sunniest spot and should grow away now they can spread their roots out into the soil.
The same goes for the pea seedlings that have been grown in pots to replace those sown directly and promptly pinched by mice.
A later sowing of broad beans have joined those sown in March, to prolong the season; three courgette plants have a bed to themselves and chard and beetroot are trying a semi-shaded spot this year to see if they bolt a little less quickly.
Spinach and lettuce have also been sown there.
The potatoes have been earthed up for the last time and are poking through their mound of earth.
Annoyingly I’ve forgotten to do sweetcorn this year and will have to search for some seedlings.
In aid of the National Gardens Scheme
Galphay Manor, Galphay, HG4 3NJ, four miles west of Ripon. Three-acre garden with water garden, ornamental pond, spacious lawns leading to rose and clematis arches, woodland walk, kitchen garden and recently restored border, topiary and box parterre. This garden is new to the NGS. Open 2pm-4.30pm, admission £3.50.
Ganton Hall, Ganton, YO12 4NT, 13 miles east of Malton. A ‘work in progress’ garden with borders, restored ice house, woodland walk, water garden, orchard and walled garden with a Victorian greenhouse in which there are the original vines and figs. New to the NGS Open 1pm-5pm, admission £3.
Hornsea Gardens, Hornsea HU18 1UR, 12 miles north east of Beverley. Four gardens open in this seaside town. Nutkins has borders, bog and woodland gardens, streamside walk, pergolas, gazebo and plenty of seating. Beech Green has large perennial beds, pond, bog garden, pergolas and vegetable plot. New House has a small garden close to the sea with hardy and tender herbaceous plants, wildlife pond, succulent collection, paved area and seating. Roseway has a rockery, patios with seating, shrubbery, tender plants border, pond and fruit and vegetable area. Open 11am- 4pm, combined admission £5.50.
Old Sleningford Hall, Mickley, HG4 3JD, five miles north west of Ripon. A large C19 country garden with its original layout with a Victorian fernery, woodland walk, lake, walled kitchen garden and long border. There is also a developing, award winning forest garden. Open noon to 3.30pm, admission £5. Also open today 12pm- 3.30pm.
Park House, Creyke Lane, Welton, HU15 1NQ, nine miles west of Hull. One-acre garden planted for year-round interest with naturalistic mixed planting, beech trees, woodland walk, ornamental herb garden, raised vegetable beds, gravel and secret gardens. Vintage cars on display (weather permitting). Open 11am-4.30pm, £3.50.
Park House, evening opening 6pm-9pm, admission £4.50. Garden details above.
Shandy Hall Gardens, Coxwold, YO61 4AD, seven miles from Easingwold and Thirsk. Two walled garden around the home of Laurence Sterne with an acre of unusual perennials under-planted with tulips and old roses and a further acre of trees, shrubs, bulbs, wild flowers and climbers in an old quarry. This area has been planted to encourage wildlife including more than 170 recorded species of moths. Evening opening 6.30pm-8.30pm, admission £3 adult, £1 child.
Gardening TV and Radio
8am, BBC Radio Humberside, The Great Outdoors. With Blair Jacobs and Doug Stewart.
9am, BBC Radio Leeds, Tim Crowther and Joe Maiden.
2pm, BBC R4, Gardeners’ Question Time. 3pm, BBC R4, Gardeners’ Question Time. Panellists Matthew Biggs, Alison Pringle, Christine Walkden and chairman Eric Robson hold their horticultural discussion at Scampston Gardens near Malton.
Friday June 15.
3pm, BBC R4, Gardeners’ Question Time. Chris Beardshaw, Bunny Guinness, Anne Swithinbank and chairman Eric Robson answer queries from gardeners in south Gloucestershire.
8pm, BBC2, Gardeners’ World. Monty Don and the GW team report from Gardeners’ World Live at the NEC in Birmingham.
Saturday June 16.
7am, BBC Radio York, Julia Booth. Presenter Julia Booth and plant expert Nigel Harrison hold their weekly plant surgery.