Heyford Gardening Club – September 2020

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Please note that Garden Club activities have had to be suspended until further Notice.

The year so far
Every year is different but this year has been more different than most. Following on from the conditions I have mentioned before, at the time of writing we have had a heat wave the like of which has not been seen for decades. The garden has stood up surprisingly well to all this, though I must remember next year not to have so many plants in pots to water.

The strange weather has caused some odd behaviour too, an honesty plant grew to 2m in height and still has flowers in mid August. Wild strawberries which really are a weed in the garden have actually produced a usable crop of fruit this year, which don’t seem to appeal to our resident blackbirds. These strawberries have also turned out to be an answer to a problem we had. We have an area of dry shade under some trees which is planted with bulbs and other spring flowers and looked wonderful until June after which it became bare and unsightly. Now ivy and strawberries have covered the ground and are keeping it looking green.

The roses and clematis have been particularly good this summer, and we have been pleased with some knapweed plants that we introduced that have flowered for weeks on end and attracted a vast number of bees, butterflies and hoverflies. One type of bee we have seen a lot of this year is the leaf cutter. These have a more qualified welcome as they remove neat sections from rose leaves to line their nests, always choosing the most precious varieties. The community orchard looked as if it might produce a small crop this year enough for a tasting at least, but none of the pears set in the end and sadly most of the apples eventually dropped, probably due to the spring drought. The only tree to bear anything at all is our damson, and these look to be ripening very early. However as the trees mature they should become more resilient to the vicissitudes of the climate, we shouldn’t expect too much from them at this early stage.

Things to do in September
1. Start planting spring bulbs
2. Collect seed from annuals and perennials to sow later
3. Sow seed of hardy annuals and hardy veg for early flower and crops next year

Mark Newstead

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www.heyfordgardenclub.com

For more information visit the Heyford Gardening Club & Allotments page

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