Sheila May's Blog
When we talk about autumn colour, it seems to me to either be talking about spectacular leaf colour on trees; or late flowering plants such as herbaceous perenials that feature in Piet Oudolf’s prairie planting schemes, or tender perennials such as dahlias, cannas etc.
I started the three articles on gardening in lockdown showing you the shoots of Echinops ritro ‘Veitch’s Blue’ just coming through in the first week of lockdown, so I shall finish by showing you it in beautiful flower on 23 July as we were coming to terms with “the new normal”
A star plant from the last day of May – the beautifully scented honeysuckle, Lonicera periclymenum ‘High Scentsation’. This honeysuckle was stunning this year, huge flowers and the scent hung on the still, super-heated air for metres in all directions for several weeks
Gardening has a rhythm of its own irrespective of what is happening in the wider world – the seasons change; certain plants come to the fore or go over; certain jobs have to be done at certain times. We have been very grateful to have our garden to occupy us during lockdown.
If you want to actually develop an area of wildflower meadow rather than just leave a bit of lawn to grow a bit longer than usual, then you will also need to try and reduce the vigour of the grass because it is such a successful plant that it outcompetes the wild flowers.
After the excitement of Chelsea week in our wildflower experiment of letting our grass grow last month, this time we are moving into June to see what comes up in our lawns. This is what is happening in mine – how are your lawns looking?
If you are working from home, homeschooling children, or having to take care of all aspects of your own life without your usual support network, you might not have even more time to mow your lawns (or if you are like our elderly neighbour you might run out of petrol for your mower and be reliant on others to get you more). Why not let the grass grow?
On the spring equinox – 20 March – as the schools were shut indefinitely; my sister, step-mother and mother had all entered 12 week shielding in locations far far from me; our daughter was in lockdown in her care home and our son and family was also social isolating as our youngest granddaughter had been sent home from nursery that week with a high temperature I went out in the beautiful sunshine into our garden in a very worried, stressed state.