The Norfolk Garden Guide in July
- Credit: Keith Clouting
Plant specialist Keith Clouting of Taverham Nursery Centre brings you his guide to getting the best out of your garden
Salvias are one of my top plant families and in mid-summer many are at their best. Salvia guaranitica is putting on a fabulous show at the moment - this large perennial sub shrub from South America can grow between two and three metres in a season. Its deep blue flowers complemented by dark calyces appear in early summer and carry on until the first frosts. Coming from near the equator it’s not fully hardy; in warm, sheltered spots a good mulch should see it through the winter, but it’s best to take some cuttings as an insurance. In colder areas the plant can be cut back hard, potted up and moved in for the winter, but this little extra effort will be rewarded with months of fabulous flowers.
Another long flowered plant in this family is Salvia ‘Blue Note’. This upright bushy plant with aromatic leaves grows to around 75cm. Its purple-blue flowers are produced continually from early summer until late autumn. The plant is best left unpruned throughout the winter, then trimmed back to the new growth in spring. ‘Blue Note’ grows best in full sun in moderately fertile, well-drained soil.
Plant of the month
This outstanding cultivar related to G. sanguineum forms a low spreading mound of deeply divided green leaves which have bronzy-red tints in autumn. The upward-facing flowers start to appear in early summer and carry on for many weeks; they are bright pink with darker streaks and the petals have a distinctive white edge. Elke is an unfussy plant and will grow in sun or partial shade in a wide range of soils. Trim plants in spring to keep them tidy.
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After flowering, congested bearded irises can be lifted and divided to restore vigour and improve flowering for next year.
Give roses a mid-summer feed to keep them flowering and growing strongly.
When flowering has finished, prune back perennials such as delphiniums, geraniums and lupins to encourage new growth and further flowers.
As soon as fruiting has finished, prune trees such as cherries, plums, peaches and apricots; summer pruning reduces the risk of silver leaf.
Taverham Nursery Centre, Fir Covert Road, Taverham, Norwich, NR8 6HT; 01603 860522; www.taverhamnursery.co.uk