With the newly refurbished Walled Gardens close to completion, the Estates and Gardens team have been getting as green fingered as ever and we wanted to know just exactly what it takes to create and maintain such a beautiful, live environment.

With the planting of perennials, some colourful annuals and of course bedding plants and the occasional fruit tree, Estates and Garden’s Manager Phil Mennell has put together some top tips when it comes to planting those which will die back and re-flower within a year or two.

Whether you’re sprucing up the garden or taking care of your allotment, continue reading for some ‘blooming’ good tips to mark national garden day 2022.

Groups of Three

As you plan your perennial garden, consider planting each selection in groups of threes. Your plants will make more of an impact in groups, and odd numbers make for a more natural design

Planting

To plant, dig a hole large enough to accommodate the roots. Tip the plant out of its pot and loosen the roots with your fingers if necessary. Set the plant into the ground at the same depth it was growing in the pot. Refill the hole with soil and water the plant thoroughly. The best time to plant or transplant is on a cool, cloudy, or rainy day. If you plant on a hot, sunny day, be sure to give plants plenty of water and be careful not to let the roots dry out in the sun

Add Mulch

Once your perennials are in their beds, add a layer of organic mulch to your garden. Mulch helps the soil conserve water, inhibits weed growth and enriches the soil as it breaks down

Watering

There are two basic rules for watering. First, watering deeply is better than frequent, shallow watering. Watering deeply encourages plants to develop deep roots and improves their drought tolerance. The second rule is to water plants directly at the soil rather than overhead. Water sitting on the foliage can lead to disease. Using a soaker hose is an efficient way to water a garden. Watering is especially important for new perennials. They'll need extra water while they are getting established.

Find Perennials That Divide Easily

You’ll get more from your plant budget by choosing perennials that you can divide or propagate easily. These techniques range from slicing through a root clump to setting a cut stem into a pot of perlite.

Be Careful with Plants That Spread Quickly

Be careful when choosing plants that are claimed to spread quickly. Some perennials are irritatingly invasive, which means they’ll be popping up and you’ll be pulling them out of inappropriate places all over.

Fertilising

The best way to maintain great garden soil is to add organic matter regularly. If you prepare your beds properly and add compost to them every year, you shouldn't need to fertilise anymore.

If you follow these simple steps, perennials will reward you with their reliable performance and incredible variety of form and colour.

Will you be using some of Phil’s tips? Let us know and social media and keep your eyes peeled for more information regarding the Rockliffe Hall Walled Kitchen Gardens coming very soon.

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