Extreme Dry Weather

24 July 2018

As I currently write we are having an extremely dry spell and so are spending a lot of our time watering the plants that we have put in this spring. These are mostly watered by direct hose application to the base of the plant as putting on sprinklers tends to water the whole area a lot of it does not get used by the plants that need it.
Where the plants have been established a lot longer or into their second year of growth their root systems will be quite well developed then we can use the overhead sprinklers or we can use the leaky-pipe system where the water dribbles out of the whole length of the pipe and as it goes down into the soil it will spread out in a fan like pattern below ground so it will get to the spreading root systems of plants that were not right next to the pipe. The leaky pipe system is also very good as very little of the water is likely to evaporate as happens with the overhead sprinklers, so we can use the leaky-pipe during the heat of the day. It’s not just the plants that we have been watering, we have found that in the last few days that the grass mowing’s that we have been putting into the compost heap have been very dry and strawy so we have needed to water the compost heap as moisture is needed in the breaking down process of the composting.
We moved the open day back a month this year as we felt the garden would probably look better in late August than it would in late July. One of the other benefits of doing this would be to get a couple of jobs done that are quite time sensitive and can’t be put off. One of these jobs is the summer pruning of the fruit trees. In this part of the country it really needs to be done in late July to get some short regrowth that will hopefully provide next year’s fruit buds and keep the tree compact.
The other job that we need to do at the about the same time as the previous open days is to get into the Dreel burn and pull out all the Himalayan Balsam plants that grow on the sides of the banks. We started this process some years ago and I am pleased to say that a job that took about 8-man days 2 years ago is now down to 1.5. It is very important to catch the flowers before they go to seed as they start to pop and explode sending the seeds several metres from where they stand. This job and the summer pruning have both been completed.
Having the open day in August will also give us the opportunity to get the hedges looking nice and freshly cut for the open days and in so, doing it at the optimum time for growth control which is early August.
Over the last few weeks Gavin has managed to get quite a lot of work done on the lawns nearly all of them have been scarified, top dressed with sand and fertilized so let’s hope that we do get some rain now so that we can see the benefit of the hard work that he has put in.
A recent bit of research has revealed the name of one of the older climbing roses in the garden. On the staircase going down from the top terrace to the middle on the west side there are a couple of pale pink climbers that flower over a remarkably long period in large clusters of fairly small fragrant flowers. There is another three specimens across the middle terrace it turns out that the name of this remarkable rose is ‘Blush Noisette’. It also caught my attention due to its very clean disease-free foliage which is also a huge bonus and it manages to grow fairly strongly to about eight to ten feet high. It was raised in America in about 1815 by Phillipe Noissete another really good feature is that it doesn’t have many thorns and it can also grow in part shade its not often that I get really excited about roses, but the is a really good old one.
Well with the open day fast approaching I think I should press on with getting the place ready for all the visitors.
Duncan and the gardening team.

Share this