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country
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garden
with Jenny Steel
Makingthecut
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•Watch carefully any tender plants you
If you have areas of lawn or rough grass in your may have in the garden. The occasional
garden with bulbs or spring wildflowers such as frosty night is still possible so cover anything
cowslips, primroses or lady’s smock, the end of precious at dusk if a frost is expected.
June is a good time to cut the grass and tidy up. • Sow seeds of wallflowers,foxgloves,sweet
Cowslips in particular need time to set and ripen Williams,Canterbury bells and other biennial
their seeds, so cutting any earlier this means they flowers to give colour in the late spring
will not have had a chance to shed seed and garden next year.
increase plant numbers next year. If you feel you • If you grow soft fruit you can expect your
have enough plants or are happy to split existing local birds to be having a field day this month
clumps in the autumn, you can cut earlier. – blackbirds love strawberries,raspberries
Like a proper summer meadow, these areas need and even half ripe gooseberries.
to be cut with care if you wish them to develop, • Keep vegetable plots free of rapidly growing
and not decline over time. Mine are cut by hand weeds this month to ensure nutrients aren’t
with an Austrian scythe, a gentle and pleasant lost to these competitors.
activity when the weather is warm and the bees
are buzzing. A strimmer is an alternative (but
inferior) method of dealing with long grass, but
whichever method you use it’s vital to rake up all
the cuttings after they’ve dried for a few days.
Watch out for small mammals and amphibians as
you go. The hay itself can be composted or used as
a mulch around trees or at the base of a hedge.
Book
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OrchidsofBritainand
Foxgloves
Ireland–AFieldand
SiteGuide byAnne
and Simon Harrap A Foxgloves are magical plants. And its not just digoxin, although largely produced synthetically
& C Black 2009 ISBN their visual beauty I’m talking about, but also now, was for many years obtained from our
978-14081-0571 the folklore that surrounded them in the past. native foxgloves and also from the
-9 £24.99 Most will know how they obtained their Mediterranean species, woolly foxglove.
common name, with tales that foxes used the In Shropshire the plant was also thought to
flowers on their feet to render them invisible, cure scarlet fever if placed in the bedroom of an
If you’ve ever seen a military orchid,a enabling them to ailing child.
monkey orchid or even a damp meadow creep into the Foxgloves prefer
dotted with common spotted orchids,and henhouse lightly shaded
felt an absolute thrill – this book should unseen! However woodland and
definitely be in your collection. there are many hedge banks,
Orchids are amongst the most wonderful other country although they can
and exotic plants in our native flora and names associated also be found on
many people seek them out. with this stately cliff tops. The pink
This is a second edition of this wonderful plant – namely bells attract
volume and has stunning photos of every fairy thimbles, bumblebees in
orchid in the UK and Ireland,close-ups of beecatchers, droves, hence the
individual flowers to aid identification, lady’s fingers and old name of
details of habitat,flowering period, in Wales, elves beecatchers. Pure
conservation and for the more botanically fingers. This was white bells are
minded,hybrids and subspecies. a magical plant occasionally seen
This isn't just a field guide – it’s a that belonged to and these make
complete volume on these most glorious the fairies. wonderful garden
plants.A must have for any gardener’s book They are, of plants in shady
collection,and a book to provide priceless course, poisonous. places, lighting
information each time you pick it up. The heart drug them up in June.
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