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Glebe Cottage Diary; Growing need says it's time to raise the stakes.


PLANT ROUTES : It is such a fecund year - I love that word and it sounds best with a Lancashire accent - we can hardly keep up with it.

Paths are starting to disappear as plants stretch and flop. Although the effect can be very romantic - especially on warm, sunny summer evenings - if it gets wet at some stage (and it usually does) you can end up with soggy skirts.

We're going round all the paths and pushing in bamboo canes or hazel sticks with twine tied between them. It's a compromise between easy access and a relaxed, laid-back look.

SHADY MOVES: On the shady side of the garden, though, it's a different story. This area is at its peak in spring and because of the extensive tree roots just below the surface of the soil, plants tend to diminish in hot weather.

We're watering extensively and, as we go, removing the last remnants of old foliage of spring bulbs, snowdrops, narcissi and scillas.

PARSLEY SAUCE: All through this part of the garden, cow parsley has sown itself. Although it looks very pretty in May and early June, taking over from the spring flowers, we need to be ruthless about taking off all the flowered stems before they have chance to seed themselves.

Here and there, though, are clumps of a very pretty British native, pimpinella major 'Rosea'. We leave it to self-seed, hoping it will put itself about.

s SMOTHERLY LOVE: There istill scaffolding up on the cottage and the climbers that should be adorning the walls are taking advantage of the additional opportunities.

We need to take a firm hand when we are dealing with wisteria and our Banksian rose.

Unless we do, I get the distinct impression they might completely smother the cottage, although when I work inside on hot days they create a very pleasant green shade.

But perhaps it's a bit much when wisteria tendrils start to invite themselves into the bedroom...


Ruthless: cow parsley

Invader: wisteria
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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion Column
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 22, 2014
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