The Original Garden Visitor's Guide

Sue's Garden - September Jottings

Hello everyone, how are you? How have you been getting on during July and August?

Did you manage to get out and about to visit some gardens? Or have you been very busy managing your own gardens? I did achieve one visit to a garden whilst away in Yorkshire, but the weather really was not on my side that week. More on that later.

So, what are the jobs we should be doing in our own gardens at the moment? Well, now is the time to prune Wisteria and other climbing shrubs - after flowering has finished. Hebes and Lavenders can also be given a light prune after flowering.

Similarly, rambling roses, again once flowering is over. August/early September is also a good time to give hedges their final trim. They will then grow just a small amount before the cold weather stops growth.

Sue's Image of the Month

Agapanthus
Agapanthus

Ladybird on Acanthus Spinosus

Asters and Phlox

Lysimachia 'Snow Candles'

Monarda

If your roses are still flowering, continue to dead-head them to extend their flowering into Autumn...if some of the stems are very spindly, you can also cut those back to encourage new growth.

If your flowering shrubs are spring flowering, keep them well watered during dry periods, which will help flower buds to develop healthily.

Also, even though the dry period may now be over, keep soaking any shrubs and plants which may have been drought stressed in recent months.

I would also recommend you keep feeding and watering your pots and troughs and borders, even if the perennials in the border are looking past their best.  Using a liquid feed will help them continue blooming into Autumn.

It is also worth cutting back foliage and stems of herbaceous plants, which have died back.

With propagation in mind, now is the time to take cuttings of tender perennials, such as Pelargoniums and to collect seed ready for storage. Those good to collect are Aquilegia, Papaver and Nigella.

Finally, from now to late August is the time to apply a biological control for vine weevil. Grubs will be starting to hatch and soil temperatures are now ideal for nematodes to be at their most effective.  Plants vulnerable to vine weevil include Rhododendron, Camellia and plants in containers, e.g. Fuchsias.

Right, now on to my plant of the month and this time it is Agapanthus and Buddleja davidii ‘Buzz Velvet’. These two plants are in my garden and they look absolutely stunning (see photographs).  The bees and butterflies have been all over the Buddleja.  I love the shape of the Agapanthus made up of individual flower heads.  It has taken about 18 months for this particular plant to flower.

So now to my garden visit………well, I finally made a long-promised trip to Yorkshire to visit a friend and when it wasn’t wet, we made it to a garden.  This is one garden I hadn’t heard of before – Breezy Knees.

These delightful gardens are set in 20 acres and situated about 5 miles from York.  To say I was blown away by the beauty of these gardens, is an understatement.

Buddleja davidii 'Buzz Velvet'

Buddleja davidii 'Buzz Velvet'

Buddleja davidii 'Buzz Velvet

Breezy Knees

Breezy Knees

Rudbeckia fulgida 'Viette's Little Suzy'

Breezy Knees

The garden and nursery were created by husband and wife Colin and Marylen Parker.  The couple sold their successful pharmacy business in order to turn their hobby into a new career.  They wanted to start a garden and nursery on farmland in the Vale of York.

The land was flat, open to cold south westerly’s in winter – hence the name ‘Breezy Knees’. So, back in 1999, the plans were put into practice and by 2004 the nursery opened. The couple then decided that a show garden was needed so that the public could see how a plant would perform...it’s height and the plant’s characteristics and how it would look in a mixed border.  So, in 2005, they set out to create one.  They created a series of themed gardens which includes a Rogue’s Gallery which is planted with invasive perennials to be wary of when planning your own garden.

There are over 6,000 different varieties of plants, shrubs and trees to discover, from the beginning of May through to the end of September, when they are open.

There is a surprise for the visitor as you turn a corner or follow a footpath into another breathtaking area of these gardens.  The planning and design of these beautiful gardens is meticulous.  The borders are bursting with colour and will continue to do so right through to the end of Autumn.  There is a pond and shade garden; rock and June gardens; by the middle of summer the annual meadow is looking stunning; there is a cottage garden and a rose garden and there is the Special September Garden with many graceful beautiful grasses.

The Conifer garden is stunning, with many stately and mature specimens.  In the White Rose Fountain garden, the fountains will always show a fantastic display.  You can totally immerse yourself in these gardens and I lost all track of time, as there is so much to see and absorb. I loved these gardens and would recommend you visit.  The gardens are very well maintained and cared for and obviously very much loved.

There is also an excellent nursery, specialising in perennial plants, with approximately 1500 different types on sale, some rare and unusual.  Pretty much all the plants on sale can be seen growing in the gardens and grounds.

Breezy Knees Gardens and Nursery, Common Lane, Warthill, York, YO19 5XS, www.breezyknees.co.uk

Well, sadly, these jottings are the last I will be writing for the Gardens to Visit website. My business is currently booming, both in terms of garden consultancy, design and planning and with all my hands-on gardening work, which is, of course, fantastic, but it leaves me with very little time to do anything else, including, sadly, writing for Gardens to Visit.

So, it is with much regret that my jottings must cease, at least for the time being. Wishing you all a great end to the summer and indeed to 2017 and above all, continue to enjoy your gardening.

Sue - SUE’S GARDENS

Garden Designer, Gardener, Consultant and Garden Writer

e-mail: sue.liassides@talk21.com

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