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March 2021 Conservation Feature

A Conservation Garden - March 2021

My latest Lockdown Project is to re-vamp an old bed on my allotment. This was almost the first section I worked and planted up when I took on the plot. It was meant to be an herbaceous bed in a sea of vegetables. It’s where I planted out my first Conservation Scheme plants. 

Over the past several years this bed has been neglected and left to go its own way. Other projects took priority. Tall grasses were slowly taking over. I had started trying to clear it in the autumn, but those grasses were then firmly stuck in that heavy soil. After a winter of rain however, the grasses could be forked out easily. So could the Phlomis russeliana that is threatening to fight it out with the grasses. I love the Phlomis and may keep some, but it really needs a firm hand. 

In clearing this bed the last couple of weeks I have noticed so many creatures living in it. Of course there have been lots of earth worms, but I was surprised to find several large beetles. Other worm-things (I’m not good at naming invertebrates) have also squiggled out of the grass and up from the soil. Ladybirds have been found hiding in folded leaves. It just goes to show that even a weedy patch can benefit a garden. 

But also I have found quite a lot of bindweed roots, thick ones that come up from the deep below. I will have a task this summer to control it. It’s funny, but I don’t remember having that much of a problem with it last year. Was it just too congested for it to flourish? Have I opened Pandora’s Box by clearing away the dense cover? I’ll have to see what happens this summer. 

I have a few Conservation plants in pots waiting to be planted in my new bed. Hemerocallis ‘Apple Court Damson’ is one, along with the Chrysanthemums ‘Dulwich Pink’ and ‘Picasso’ – not planted too close to each other as I think their colours clash. I’m also hoping to acquire one or two of the Phloxes in the scheme. I used to grow Phlox paniculata ‘Milly van Hoboken' in this bed and it did particularly well, until I neglected it and let it become overgrown. Well, nothing like starting again and having another go. 

Chrysanthemum 'Picasso'

Chrysanthemum 'Dulwich Pink'


Hemerocallis ‘Apple Court Damson’ 

I’ll let you know later in the summer how I get on with my project. If I get busy with the vegetables or the back garden it may not be so good. On the other hand, with a fresh start I might get this bed looking really nice, and learn a thing or two about some wonderful Conservation Plants.  

Sally Adams Posted by Sally Adams

Sally joined the Hardy Plant Society in the autumn of 2001, but only as a national member at first. She eventually joined the Essex group and was quickly co-opted onto the committee as Group Secretary. About the same time she also took on the job of Database Administrator for the Conservation Scheme. She worked with various co-ordinators on the scheme for several years, but by 2013 she needed to step down. Now retired, she continues to be the Essex Group Secretary, and divides her time between her small back garden and her allotment, which is where all those spare seedlings end up. 

1 Comments To "March 2021 Conservation Feature "

Judy Barker On 27.03.2021
I am the National Collection Holder for Hardy Chrysanthemums (Plant Heritage and HPS member) and have several more which need sending out from my allotments Sally would you like me to send you others to add to Cons scheme??? thanks Judy Reply to this comment
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