June is the most anticipated month in the garden here at Aston Pottery as the 6500 seedlings we have been nurturing are finally planted out into The Annual Border.
The planting takes three people four days to complete, the border being 70m long by 7m deep. The border is divided into 4 tiers with the tallest plants at the back, in Tier 4, and smallest at the front, in Tier 1. Tier 4 is full of 17 varieties of sunflower. Tier 3 contains Hopi Red Giant and Hopi Red Dye, Amaranthus Dreadlocks and Love Lies Bleeding, Ricinus New Zealand Purple and Impala. The 2nd Tier is filled with 4 varieties of Tithonia, 10 varieties of Cosmos, 15 varieties of Zinnias, 5 varieties of Tagetes, 3 varieties of Cleome, 5 varieties of Salvias and 3 varieties of Aster. The shorter plants at the front in Tier 1 are salvias, Celosia, Alonsoa, Tagetes, Rudbeckias, Heliotropium, Asclepia and Ageratum to name a few.
In order to structure the planting and to create a sense of rhythm and texture through the border we made large wooden triangles into which each variety is planted, the largest being 3m x 2.5m. Density of planting in the larger triangles is reduced to 12 plants but in the smaller triangles it increases up to 36 plants per triangle.
The Annual Border puts on an incredible show of colour from mid July through to the end of September.
Behind the scenes:
The main focus this month has been continuing to prick out and pot up the annual seedlings into individual plugs to give them time to develop a good root ball before going into the border.
We have also been potting up the dahlia cuttings taken from last years tubers.
A display of plants from Australia has been set up at the front of the shop. All these plants were grown from seed, started 3 years ago, after a trip Stephen made to Australia. Have a look at the red and the green Kangaroo Paw, Grass Trees and Albany Bottle Brush.
Plant of the month:
The Eremurus (Fox Tail Lilies) are looking spectacular in The Hot Bank, set off with an underplanting of Kniphofia Fiery Fred and a backdrop of the copper beech hedge. Did you know that all the Kniphofia in the bank have been propagated from just two original plants?
“How to I deal with the slugs?” is the most asked question by visitors in June. We advise to use beer traps, Simply sink a container into the ground near your plants, fill the container with beer and wait. The slugs cannot resist and you will soon have a container full of slugs which you can dispose of as you wish.
Our gardening team is very small.
Stephen is head gardener, when he is not making pottery, making cakes, serving in the café or helping in the shop.
Nicky, a volunteer, does one day per week.
More help would be very welcome. Would you like to volunteer too, either on a regular basis or for one of our big plant outs?
You will be reward by being surrounded with wonderful people and plants, along with a cuppa and some fabulous cake and lunch if you do a full day.
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, please contact Stephen Baughan via email at firstname.lastname@example.org