Gardening

Broomfield Hall
Dicentra

Last updated Saturday 7th May
Welcome to the home on our website for the Erewash Sound Gardening Spot, which airs periodically during Saturday programming between 12noon and 2pm on 103.5 and 96.8FM, on the free-to-download app, via our website and on smartspeakers.

Tanya Prime hosts and is joined by 'Gardener Steve' either live in the studio or from locations around the borough, region and even country.

On this page, we will be posting regular updates including photographs, some that you may have sent in, tips and advice, and handy links too plus much more besides.  You can also 'like', 'follow', contribute to and see more on our dedicated Facebook page at www.facebook.com/erewashsoundgardening.

Update for May
Welcome to May's gardening, I hope that you have had a great spring in your garden, and hasn't it been a dry one.  This Spring, I have been out watering more than usual, I wonder what happened to those April showers!!  In May we look forward to the days being longer and warmer, hopefully with the risk of frosts having passed by the end of the month. It is such a busy time and there is plenty to do in the garden, greenhouse, and vegetable garden as we start to leave behind the spring colour, we are now greeted with the blooms of early summer such as the Rhododendrons and Azaleas. - I have added a couple of Azalea to my 4 season's border and certainly giving me colour this month. 

Don't forget to have a moment, down tools, grab a cuppa and just sit and take it all in and enjoy your garden!              

So, to kick start us all off here are few jobs to keep you busy in your garden throughout May. Happy Gardening Everybody!       

  • Feed and water container plants
  • Top-dress permanent pot plants by refreshing the compost      
  • Protect crops from carrot fly by covering with horticultural fleece or enviromesh
  • Trim back spreading plants such as aubrietia, alyssum and candytuft after they have flowered
  • Don't rush to cut down or tie up the foliage of spring-flowering bulbs, let them die down naturally
  • Harden off half-hardy plants by leaving them outside during the day and bringing back under cover at night
  • To reduce the spread of forget-me-not, lift the plants now to prevent them self-seeding        

National Garden Scheme - Open gardens in May
334 Belper Road, Stanley Common, Derbyshire, DE7 6FY
Sunday 22nd May 11am - 4pm
Beautiful country garden with many attractive features inc a laburnum tunnel, rose wisteria domes, old workmen's hut, wildlife pond and more. Take a walk through the 10 acres of woodland and glades to a ½ acre lake. Organic vegetable garden. See Snowdrops and Hellebores in February, cowslips in April and wild orchids in June. Newly planted rose meadow. Plenty of seating to enjoy home-made cakes.
Refreshments: Available 
Admission: Adult: £4.00, Child: Admission by donation

Derby College - Broomfield Hall, Morley, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, DE7 6DN
Sunday 29th May 10am - 4pm
25 acres of constantly developing educational Victorian gardens/woodlands maintained by volunteers and students. Herbaceous borders, walled garden, themed gardens, rose garden, potager, prairie plantings, Japanese garden, tropical garden, winter garden, plant centre. Light entertainment, cacti, carnivorous, bonsai, fuchsia specialists and craft stalls.
Refreshments: Light refreshments in a pop-up volunteer run cafe.

Admission: Adult: £5.00, Child: Free     

13 Chiltern Drive, West Hallam, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, DE7 6PA
Sunday 29th May 11:30am - 4:30pm
A plant lover's garden, every corner brimming with plants, many rare and unusual. Paris, beesia, schefflera, podophyllum, to name but a few. There’s a pretty summerhouse, a small pond and fernery, together with over 50 different acers, over 30 varieties of hosta, many ferns and some well hidden lizards!! As the garden has matured the acers have now given the garden a real woodland feel.

Refreshments
Home-made teas. Gluten free options available.
Admission Adult: £3.00, Child: Admission by donation      

Gardener Steve’s plant of the month: Dicentra spectablis: (Bleeding heart) 
Dicentras are Chinese plants bearing pink-red, heart-shaped flowers with white tips, which hang from arching flower stems in late spring to early summer, I just love them they disappear in the border but come spring they come alive and they are so graceful.

D. spectabilis is an herbaceous perennial forming a mound of divided, mid-green foliage. Heart-shaped, rose-red and white flowers hang from arching stems. It makes a nice border plant in a cottage or informal garden or a nice filler in a herbaceous border. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).     

  • Flowering period: Late spring 
  • Position: Partial shade, sun if the soil is moist     
  • Soil: Moist, fertile, humus-rich soil 
  • Hardiness: Hardy perennial
  • Propagation: Sow seeds collected from last season in spring. Divide plants after flowering
  • Pruning:  Cut back after foliage goes yellow and dies off, deadhead flowers after flowering 

The Chelsea Chop! 
The Chelsea chop is a pruning method by which you control the growth, size and the flowering season of many herbaceous perennials that grow in our gardens. This is usually carried out at the end of May, coinciding with the RHS Chelsea Flower Show which is where this technique gets its name. 

The Chelsea chop is a process that I use and here are the facts… 

  • Suitable for late flowering perennials 
  • Carry out at the end of May and early June 

Plants that respond well to the Chelsea chop include: Anthemis tinctoria, Echinacea purpurea, Helenium, Lavender, Nepeta, Phlox paniculata, Sedum (upright varieties), Solidago     

Many other summer- and autumn-flowering perennials can be treated similarly. The degree of cutting back is specific to each species but the closer to flowering time you prune, the greater the delay in flowering.

Some herbaceous perennials can be cut down by as much as half which will help the plant not grow so tall and leggy, need less staking and the flowers are smaller but more of them. 

Clumps of perennials can be literally be chopped back by one third to a half using shears or secateurs which will delay the flowering until later in the summer and keep plants shorter and more compact. 

This is a very useful gardening technique that I have been using for many years and can certainly recommend it on certain herbaceous perennials. If you would like any more information on this topic, drop me an email gardenersteve24 @ live.co.uk 

To hear the Gardening features from the show from Saturday 7th May, just press PLAY on the panel below!  Come back soon for more tips and the next chance to 'listen again'.