Episode 12: Council Flower Beds, Gardening Jobs and Plants of Interest for March
Interview with Parks Manager, Dennis Smith about council and municipal flower beds, our plant of the month; Magnolia stellata, perfect pairing (2 plants that go well together); Edgeworthia chrysantha and Aubretia ‘Purple Cascade’ and jobs to do in the garden for March.
In this month’s edition of the podcast we talk to Dennis Smith, Parks Manager for Huntingdon Town Council, about the ins and outs of planting and maintaining municipal flower beds and hanging baskets. We also look at seasonal gardening jobs to do in the garden during the month of March and a selection of plants that look good at this time of year.
Interview with Local Parks Manager, Dennis Smith - 4' 28"
We talk to Dennis Smith, Parks Manager for Huntingdon Town Council, about planting and maintaining municipal flower beds and hanging baskets within an urban environment, the costs involved and some useful tips and tricks of the trade.
Plant of the Month - 22' 36"
Our plant of the month for March is Magnolia stellata.
- Height 3m, spread 4m
- Hardy shrub, likes full sun or partial shade
- Slow growing
- Soil: Moist, well drained loam
- Flowers from March to April, pure white star shaped flowers, lightly scented
Perfect Pairing - 25' 34"
For the month of March we've picked two plants that compliment each other:
- Average growing, half-hardy shrub
- 1.5m tall, 1.5m spread
- Full sun or partial shade, moist, well drained soil
- Flowers: fragrant yellow, February to April
- Average to fast growing, hardy perennial
- 30cm tall, 45cm spread
- Full sun, moderately fertile, well-drained, preferably neutral or alkaline soil
- Flowers: rich purple, March to May
- Good ground cover
Jobs in the Garden - 30' 39"
- Bedding plants, sow seeds indoors
- Prune shrubs to produce colourful winter stems e.g. Dogwood: Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’
- Rose and shrub pruning, e.g. Buddleja davidii
- Cut back ornamental grasses
- Feed container grown ericaceous shrubs that flower next month e.g. Camellia, Rhododendron
- Top dressing of well-rotted compost or manure
- Split congested clumps of herbaceous plants
- Cut the lawn for the first time
In the Vegetable Garden - 32' 59"
- Sow inside: Aubergines and Tomatoes
- Sow outside: French beans & carrots under cloches; Broad beans, Onions seeds or sets, Brussels sprouts and spinach
- Plant out: Garlic cloves, tubers of Jerusalem artichokes and young Seakale
Plants of Note - 35' 05"
Another two plants that we felt were worthy of note for this month are:
- Fast growing, hardy, evergreen shrub
- 2.5m tall, 2m spread
- Partial shade, moist, well-drained ericaceous soil
- Evergreen, glossy green leaves
- Flowers: white & yellow, March and April
- RHS Award of Garden Merit
- Average growing, hardy deciduous tree
- 10m tall, 10m spread
- Full sun, tolerates more soils
- Flowers: double pink, March and April
- Green / bronze in autumn foliage
- Very free flowering
- RHS Award of Garden Merit
Listener's Questions - 38' 24"
Terry Essling - "Hi, my window box planters are planted up with winter flowering pansies, but they are getting eaten away by woodlice. I have tried a chemical treatment previously but doesn’t seem to stop them, any ideas please?"
Podcast produced by Richard Farrar.