Walking in Tiddesley Wood last week was a joy. It was full of fruits and berries: blackberries, rose hips, crab apples, pears, elderberry, sloes and plums. Newcomers to Eckington may not know that the original yellow egg plum was found there in 1833 and made Pershore and the Vale famous for plum production. It was hard to resist collecting the blackberries – are they bigger this year or is it my imagination? The butterflies were working overtime to collect nectar from yellow daisies (fleabane) and the blue balls on long stalks (Devil’s bit scabious) before they hibernate. From mid-September to mid-October evergreen hedges can be planted safely. When planting for the long term it is wise to dig a slow-acting fertilizer like bone-meal in around each shrub. Avoid quick-acting fertilizers at this time of year. With luck it is the last time for trimming hedges. Untidy perennials should be cut back and shrubs that have flowered can be lightly trimmed. Any drastic shrub pruning will encourage tender new growth which may be damaged by frost. If your baskets, pots and beds of geraniums, petunias, lobelia etc. had slow-release feed at the beginning of the season and look a little tired now they can be helped along by a weekly feed of tomato food. If you think they are looking well past their best then be brave and clear the soil ready for new planting. As I have written before, September is the optimum time of year for planting. Warm soil, moist soil and enough time to get their feet down and become well established before the winter cold. Any plants treated this way will have the best possible start next season. It is an ideal time to buy as most nurseries that grow their own plants also need to clear space for new batches.
We are having our usual autumn clearance sale at Blue Gecko Plants and we hope you will find some bargains with 40% off all perennials, shrubs, trees and roses and 30% off our pots.
Marion, Blue Gecko Plants, 01386 751 802