On 9th June members had a guided tour behind the scenes of Katies Garden Plant Centre in Newbourne. In their greenhouses and on the nursery, they grow on a wide range of plants for sale at not only at the plant centre but at farm shops and other outlets across Suffolk. To the left-hand side of the sales greenhouse there is a demonstration garden where you can see plant combinations in situ, look at plants for dry areas or compare different lavender or salvia varieties growing side by side, to choose the right one for you. Well worth a look if you are there. Also, worth mentioning is that they will take any unwanted pots for recycling.

On 14th July the club are off to Otley Hall gardens. Well worth a visit with 10 acres of gardens including a knot garden, a mount for excellent views and my favourite a labyrinth. Meet there at 7. 00pm for a guided tour of the garden. £10.50 per person, refreshments extra.
Address Otley Hall, Hall Lane, Otley, Ipswich, IP6 9PA

Tales from a cottage garden
Last summer the garden club put out an email with the offer of free surplus bearded irises (thanks to the Lings) and I took up the offer. They have been stunning in the garden during May/June and many people commented on those in the front garden. Although relatively fleeting they are so easy to grow and tolerate drought. Plant the rhizomes (the thick stems) horizontally, with the top partially exposed so they get baked in summer sun as this encourages good flowering. As a consequence, I have bought 2 more to join the collection. Look out for them next year.
In the June review I promised tales about my Wendy House. But supplier problems blamed on Covid, Brexit, and anything else they could conjure means it has only just been delivered, so assembly will be in next months review. Yes, I know an adult with no small children around doesn’t need a Wendy House but when the one my father made 35+ years ago finally collapsed something was missing in the garden and so I decided I wanted one. Need and want are different things. I’m looking on it as an ornament or my mini version of a grand garden folly as of old. I think all gardens should have a bit of fun and whimsey. If you fancy it why not, a shell grotto, a collection of Gnomes, fairy garden, topiary animals, or like Otley Hall even a labyrinth in your lawn. The main thing is to have fun in your garden. Gardens are an opportunity to celebrate life in your own style and tastes, whatever that be and it will always look beautiful.

Jobs to be getting on with in the garden in July are:
Cutting some lavender for drying. Choose newly opened flowers for the best fragrance, then hang up in a cool, dark place to dry and they will give the smell of summer all winter
Cutting back early summer perennials, such as hardy geraniums and delphiniums, after flowering for a second flush
Don’t forget to sow biennials, such as foxgloves, honesty, and wallflowers, for blooms next year.
And as ever hoe or hand-weed borders often, so weeds don’t have time to set seed.
On the allotment hopefully you are starting to harvest crops but the weather in July can be unpredictable. If there’s a drought, prioritise which crops to water, and if it’s damp, watch out for tomato blight.
July is a good time to sow carrots to avoid carrot fly and is also the time to plant seasonal potatoes for Christmas. No allotment, try growing round carrots in a pot, and potatoes in a large pot or old dustbin. It works for me.
Oh, and have fun in your garden or veg plot.

Debbie Doggett


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