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No respect for elders; diary.

Byline: gardens With Carol Klein of TV's Gardeners' World

GROUND ATTACK: On the garden side of our native hedge runs what I call the spare bed.

Separated from the rest of the garden by oak railway sleepers, it has become a sanctuary for random homeless plants and spare divisions of herbaceous perennials that have been found homes elsewhere in the garden.

Out of sight, though, doesn't mean out of mind. There are several treasures housed in this unlikely asylum and we've been trying to weed right through the bed.

At one stage, I came across a delightful umbel that had just set seed. I was pondering whether or not to collect it and grow some more when I realised that this was ground elder - one of the weeds most dreaded by all gardeners.

Once it has made itself at home, it's almost impossible to eradicate.

So not only was the seed not collected, the whole plant was dug up.

We tried our best to remove every trace of root and confined it to the 'to burn' bucket.

DEAD CERT: All through this bed, as with the rest of the garden, deadheading keeps things flowering.

As soon as a plant has managed to set seed, it has accomplished its purpose.

In the case of many annuals and some perennials, this is the signal to say "don't bother flowering any more - you've completed the task".

There our interests diverge. We want to prolong flowering, so to keep the show going, deadheading is vital. We cut flowered stems back to a bud to encourage more blooms and then feed with a balanced liquid fertiliser - seaweed based is ideal.

NEW LOVE: Pots and containers form an important part of our garden and we're trying to give them a lift. We usually have two separate shows - in the spring it's tulips then they make way for tender perennials and half-hardy annuals.

For a bit of extra sparkle, we're adding a few annuals grown in pots including love-lies-bleeding and a new blue silene called 'Blue Angel'.

CAPTION(S):

Trouble... Ground elder

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 29, 2015
Words:345
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