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Village Features

Battle for a beautiful garden

Posted on July 31 2017 at 3:37:42

Garden

Dave Morgan describes the difficulties caused by wildlife and weather.

It’s important to keep the garden tidy in spring and summer as there will be long cold months when it will look almost dead – even more so if you open for the National Garden Scheme, as we do, with another couple, in Marlbrook.

But sometimes gardening feels like fighting a battle against the odds! There are pests and diseases that affect your plants, like tulip fire and clematis wilt, and who hasn’t had hostas and delphiniums decimated by slugs?

We’ve tried everything to get rid of slugs, including creeping round with torches at night, searching for them – our neighbours must think we’re weird!

But having found them – what do you do with them? Salt’s good – but if we admitted to that the League of Slug Protection would be after us.

They say you can frighten slugs so they don’t come into your garden – but shouting “Boo!” over the fence into the neighbours’ garden might encourage a visit from the boys in blue – or at least an ASBO (Anti Slug Boo-ing Order)!

We’ve battled against pigeons, who land on top of delicate plants, squashing them in the process – and Victor Vole, who we’ve actually caught eating a geranium flower – clearly Victor likes geraniums!

But this year our biggest battle has been against the weather. The late cold snap, with overnight frost, damaged some of our acers, even though we’d covered as much as possible with fleece.

And the long, dry, hot spell, which is great for sun lovers and posties in shorts, is not ideal for gardeners. Our water butts ran out long before the hot spell did and several plants were scorched by the sun.

Then, torrential rain – which damaged the plants that we’d spent so much time carrying water up and down the garden to maintain!

It sounds like there’s nothing left – but we’re still “fighting the good fight” and the gardens still look good (if you disregard the slug-eaten leaves and squashed plants). Come and see for yourself!

We’re open Sunday August 20 (1.30–5.30 pm), with one garden in Braces Lane and the other on the A38 (park in Braces Lane). Entry is £5 (children free) for both gardens and refreshments will be available.

It’s all for charity, so enjoy two different gardens and have a great afternoon out – as long as the weather is kind. . .


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