Episode 29: Hampton Court Flower Show & Gardening Jobs for August
Interviews from the 2015 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, our plant of the month; Francoa sonchifolia 'Pink Bouquet' and jobs to do in the garden for August.
In this month’s edition of the podcast we talk to garden designers and exhibitors at the 2015 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower show. We also look at seasonal gardening jobs to do in the garden during the month of August and our plant of the month for August.
The summer season can last into September but August is really the last of the summer months. If you have a vegetable garden, it’s a very busy time with many crops still to be harvested this month. But if you have time, relax and enjoy your garden this month. If August is as hot as it has the potential to be, and you are off on holiday, the logistics of watering precious plants whilst you are away will be of paramount importance too.
Many people say that their gardens lack late summer colour, but choose your plants carefully and your garden can be as colourful in August as it is in June or July.
At the 2015 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower show we talked to garden designer Ann-Marie Powell and exhibitor Matthew Smith:
- Ann-Marie Powell – TV gardening presenter and designer of "The Macmillan Legacy Garden", winning a Gold medal
- Matthew Smith – Brighter Blooms, specialists in Zantedeschias
Plant of the Month
Our plant of the month for August is Francoa sonchifolia 'Pink Bouquet'.
- Also known as Bridal Wreath or Wedding Flower
- Make good cut flowers
- Half Hardy (down to -10C max for short periods) evergreen perennial that likes full sun or partial shade
- Flowers: Long flowering, June to August; 4 petaled light pink flowers with darker blotch at the base, 2cm across in racemes on erect stems
- Lance shaped leaves
- Soil: Moderately fertile, moist but well drained
- Height up to 50cm, spread 40cm
- Average growth rate, 2-5 years to maturity
- Generally pest and disease fre. Protect from excessive winter wet
- Propagate by division in spring
Jobs in the Garden
- Propagate Plants from Semi-ripe Cuttings
- Many plants can be propagated this month from semi-ripe cuttings. Examples include Penstemons and Fuchsias.
- Select non-flowering side-shoots, cut just below a leaf joint so that you are cutting off a shoot with four or five pairs of leaves.
- Strip the bottom two pairs of leaves and dip the cuttings in hormone rooting powder.
- Firm the cuttings into a pot of cutting compost, half a dozen per pot is fine and place in a cold frame.
- Many of the cuttings will have rooted by the spring.
- Holiday Watering
- If you are going away on holiday this August, don’t forget to have plans in place for watering your precious plants e.g. neighbours and automatic watering systems
- Prune Summer Flowering Shrubs
- Many shrubs that have recently finished flowering can be pruned this month. These include Philadelphus and Weigela.
- Cut out the shoots that have flowered and if the centre has become congested you can prune up to one-third of the oldest stems down to ground level.
- After pruning, give the shrub a bit of a boost by mulching around the base with some well-rotted garden compost or manure.
- Plant daffodil bulbs ready for their spring show
- Support branches of fruit trees that are heavily laden with fruit
- When raspberry canes have finished fruiting prune them to ground level
- Tie flowers that are flopping over on to stakes
- Regular lawn mowing (raise the height of cut in very dry weather)
- Trim border edges
- Regularly spray roses against greenfly and blackspot
- Damp down greenhouse paths regularly to create a humid atmosphere that pests such as red spider mite do not like
- Water and feed containers and hanging baskets regularly
In the Vegetable Garden
- Sow seeds outside of: Lettuce, Radish, Spinach and Onion
- Plant Out: Cabbages
- Harvest: Peas, French beans, Tomatoes, Onions, Radish, Carrots, Turnips, Beetroot, Spinach, Cauliflowers, Cabbages, Lettuce, Globe artichokes, Broad beans, Runner beans, Marrows, Courgettes, Cucumbers, Potatoes, Swiss Chard, Broccoli, Celery, Sweetcorn, Aubergines, Peppers and Pumpkins
Forthcoming Garden and Flower Shows
- 20 - 23 August: Southport Flower Show
Podcast produced by Richard Farrar.