HANDY TIPS AND TRICKS FOR MID JUNE
  • Keeping an eye on baskets and containers may not be enough for all the rain we get.
  • For a black spot, spray roses.
  • It's very important to spray apple trees for scab just now as the new fruit develops.
  • Stake up perennial herbaceous plants.
  • It is now possible to prune spring blooming clematis that have just gone out of flower.

In last week’s article I mentioned an old reliable that has been rejuvenated with bigger and better flowers and dramatic colours, these new Lupins are known as the West Country  Series. This week I continue in the same vein with another old reliable that is only barely distinguishable from its older cousins, it is known as Buddleja Flower Power (commonly known as the Butterfly Bush).  It is guaranteed to attract butterflies to your garden from July to September which is its flowering time. The older varieties grew quite large often outgrowing their space and required regular pruning to keep them in check.  By the way, this pruning should only be done in the wintertime.  They produced long spikes of purple, white or mauve flowers.  Their new cousin Flower Power isn’t just as vigorous but the flower colour is certainly dramatic.  In bud it’s a deep purple colour and as the flower develops it changes colour from purple to lilac to orange, all on the same flower.  When you get old and new flowers on the same plant the mix of colours can only be described as stunning.  It is sweetly scented and still attracts the butterflies, it is easy to grow so it’s worth seeking out.  While I’m on the subject of Buddleja there is an old variety that you don’t see much anymore as it grows too big for most gardeners reaching 12-15 feet high, it’s called Buddleja Globosa and it produces orange fluorescent golf ball size globular flowers, if you come across it and you have the space it’s one for posterity!                                                                                                                                    

Back to the subject of new and improved varieties, there’s a new apple tree called “Honey Crisp” which will put back the flavour into apples. For many years new apple trees were bred for their fruit, to have better colour, produce more and be longer lasting but they lost their flavours. Honey Crisp has bridged the gap as well as being disease resistant. The fruit has good colour, it is self-pollinating and has fruit with a fresh juicy sweet taste.  It is one to plant for the future, it will happily grow in Ireland. A number of varieties are being sold from time to time in Ireland that will not produce fruit here as they prefer continental type climates.

 

June