It’s seven o’clock in the morning and I’m down on the allotment. What is it about me and early morning jaunts where I meet strangers with microphones and headsets! A few weeks ago I found myself in Harlow Carr in Harrogate, a stunning Rhs garden, reporting on the effects of a prolonged winter and how it affects our gardens.
Today was a slightly different story; I was talking about the possible effects of this sudden expected heatwave on our gardens with BBC radio Manchester.
Winter has been too long; six months! So now we are going from very cold to 21 degrees in a few days. How will our gardens cope? Very well I suspect.
The arrival of the sunshine means many of us will be flocking to the garden centre to replenish our borders with colourful flowers with Senettis being an obvious choice at this time of year. These flowers will bloom long into the summer but just be aware they are half hardy so if the weather turns frosty again they will need protecting.
A lot of the plants on offer in the garden centres will have been grown in polytunnels and will be a little bit further along than those growing outdoors. If you do want to buy them, give them a chance to get used to the uv rays avoid planting them out straight away in direct sunshine as plants can suffer sunburn just like us.
Watering during hot weather is vital. Do this early in the morning or in the evening to avoid scorching the leaves.
Woodland plants, that thrive under a canopy of leaves, may feel a little bit overwhelmed by the sudden appearance of the sun because the leaf canopies haven’t yet formed. But don’t worry, any drying of the leaves won’t do any lasting harm, our plants are survivors and will grow fresh new leaves very soon.
I can’t wait for the warm weather to move in. I anticipate that flowers will unfurl and bask in the sunshine, releasing heady aromas that lift the spirit. The plants and flowers aren’t the only ones looking forward to a bit of sunshine though, us gardeners are giddy at the very thought of fine days ahead.
I for one am spending the day on my allotment preparing the ground to sow my seeds directly into the soil. Then I’ll join the gardening throng and get the lawn mower out before planting out the sweet peas. It looks like good times are ahead and I can’t wait!