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Green Fingers in Spring

It’s all go down at Caves Folly as Bridget gears up for warmer spring weather.

The growing season is well and truly underway with every available space full of plants. There is so much work to do that there is not enough time in the day!
We are attending the Malvern Show again this year and selling the usual array of vegetable plants, alpines and herbaceous perennials. It is inspiring to meet other growers and designers and share experiences, it is an opportunity to look at new varieties and compare growing techniques.

After forty years in horticulture I am doubtful as to the merit of many ‘new ’garden cultivars. There are a lot which are worthy of a new name, others are a very slight variation on the original but I find they are not always as floriferous or vigorous. This is of course only my opinion - many expert breeders spend a lifetime perfecting a flower or leaf shape.

There is so much to do at this time of year, and it all needs to be done now! It is also a really exciting time with the promise of sunny days and gardens full of flowers, fruit and vegetables.

Jobs to do in the garden
If you are growing vegetables, make yourself a cold frame. It is so useful for bringing on tender seedlings and hardening off plants.
Prune shrubs such as Forsythia, Chaenomeles after flowering.
Trim back hard; favourites such as Lavenders and Penstemon, Helichrysum and Perovskia will benefit from new growth.
Trim off any frost damaged leaves from evergreens to encourage new growth.
Plant Mediterranean-type plants such as Cistus, Ceonothus and Hebe as they like warm soils.
Prepare containers with new compost and plant out summer bedding in mid-May.
Keep containers watered in dry spells, it is easy to get caught out at this time of year.

The Kitchen Garden
Plant out newly-chitted potatoes in April.
Sow vegetables direct, including beetroot, carrot, lettuce, leek, radish, turnip and spring onions.
April is also the time to sow indoors - runner beans, french beans, courgette, pumpkin and squashes.
If you are emptying old compost bins, check carefully in case any snakes, hedgehogs or frogs are still hibernating.
Remember to make time for enjoying the garden and watching nature in all its spring exuberance.

Come and visit us at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival between 9th and 12th May. We are next to the West Gate. 

Bridget

Bridget runs Caves Folly Nurseries on Evendine Lane in  Colwall (WR13 6DX). They are open from March until October, Thursdays to Saturdays from 10 - 5. You can contact them on 01684 540631 or visit their website:
www.cavesfolly.com