Barlow Nurseries

Growers of trees, shrubs and hardy herbaceous perennial garden plants near Newport, Shropshire



Summertime…

…and the living is eeeeaseeey. Well, the weather is proving pretty benign, if not a little too warm (are we ever happy?) home grown fruit and veg is starting to appear on the menu chez Barlow, our new garden border (planted last autumn) is settling in very nicely, and all seems well with the world!

Mixed shrub and herbaceous border

Mixed shrub and herbaceous border

Our picture shows part of the new border we installed last October, and demonstrates just how quickly a blank space (it was formerly lawn) can be transformed into an attractive feature. The huge majority of plants were ordinary garden centre size specimens when planted (none of those huge expensive specimens you see on the telly here!) and our soil is poor, very free draining sand, so the border had pretty modest beginnings. Apart from hoeing (you always get plenty of weeds in newly disturbed soil) we’ve done virtually no maintenance, so it’s proved pretty easy gardening too. If you fancy transforming a bit of your garden like this, or having it all done for you, let us know – we’re happy to help!

We’ve had our first reports of lily beetle in Shropshire this season, so if your lilies (or fritillarias) are looking the worse for wear with lots of leaf damage, check for this voracious little beast. Left unchecked lily beetle can defoliate a plant to such and extent that it will be too weak to flower the following year, so it’s important to control them if you can. The adult beetles are very easy to spot (they are very bright red) but it’s the newly hatched grubs which do the serious damage. They’re pretty easy to spot too, if rather less pleasant – they hide in piles of their own excretia on the undersides of leaves. Adult beetles should be picked off and squashed; the grubs should be wiped off, and squashed too. You can also inspect the undersides of leaves for newly laid eggs (laid in small clusters, brown/red in colour) and squash these. Alternatively, if you’re happy using chemicals, there are several insecticides available which will control both adult and grub stages. There is only one generation each year, so a little vigilance now should get the problem sorted, and let you lilies live to flower another year.

Finally, a big thankyou to everyone who turned out for the open garden event at Hodnet Hall which we mentioned last time – the sun shone, the gardens looked wonderful (if you’ve never been, go!) and something over £7,000 was raised for the Severn Hospice.

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