Again, it’s been quite a tricky gardening year, with cold followed by hot, and not so much rain recently. It’s been particularly tricky at the Preston Circus planters, where we have to water with watering cans.
We’ve just done some work trying to revive and rejuvenate the ‘island’ planters (those in the middle of the cross roads). They are very exposed. The cosmos in the ‘prairie’ planter had gone thuggish, the gaura had died, the euphorbia had got leggy and the marigolds in the seaside planter had given up flowering. Even the verbena bonariensis had started going brown.
At the weekend, we cleared all the planters of weeds, dead-headed and cut back, and removed the thugs (nasturtiums, a tomato and cosmos). We’ve now done some replanting and re-composting, trying to get in as much moisture as we can, with water from the fire station. We should be getting a water butt installed shortly at the Calvary Evangelical Church, but still a few engineering problems to sort out.
Two bags of peat-free compost, plus some station compost full of worms, has gone into the ‘prairie’ planter, together with some water gel. We’ve planted up with new heuchera (four ‘Silver Scroll’) which have purple and silver variegated leaves and two large Rudbeckia (‘Little Gold Star’). We’ve dotted verbena bonariensis in with the central grass. To try to keep the moisture in, we’ve mulched with wood chip.
In the seaside planter, we’ve put in some end of season giant pompom marigolds (they’re supposed to be ‘Antique Orange’ but they are a bright sulphur yellow) and two burnt orange chrysanthemums, along with some more verbena bonariensis, which has been sprouting up all over my garden. The two planters now have colour to last into the Autumn. But yet again, we’ve had to plant when the weather is hot. The challenge is going to be to keep the planters well watered. Heavy rain is forecast for Friday, but … you never can tell.