The Children’s Society Cockermouth invites you to a

Garden Trail Saturday 14th September

Between 1.00pm and 5.00pm Gardens on view (in any order)

❀ 1 Beech Lane ❀ 9 Waterloo Street ❀ 39 Derwentside Gardens ❀ Gote Road Allotments ❀ Hames Hall Community Garden ❀ 36 The Parklands ❀ ‘High Moor’, Hill Street

Afternoon teas (£3.50) and Refreshments are available from 1.00pm to 5.00pm in Christ Church, Sullart Street

Tickets: £3.00

to view all gardens are available from The Linden Tree, 65 Main Street or any garden on the day

For further details call

01900 824064, 824673, 822120 Charity Registration No. 221124


A £1.6 million project to help boost pollinators is coming to West Cumbria.

Allerdale Borough Council and Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) have been allocated part of this funding, which will help restore and create over 100 acres of habitat as part of the Get Cumbria Buzzing project, which aims to tackle the decline of bees and other pollinators.

The cash will be provided over the next three years. It will be used to create havens for wild pollinators such as bumblebees, hoverflies, solitary bees and butterflies.

The work will include planting plugs, trees and native Cumbrian wildflowers, alongside other shrubs and bulbs, attracting pollinating insects to the areas.

So far, 17 sites have been earmarked, including Maryport Promenade, Derwent Howe Slag Banks, Workington Hall Park and the Solway Coast AONB sites including Crosscanonby, Beckfoot Dunes, Saltcoates and Port Carlisle.

Children planting wildflowers in Vulcan Park, Workington hat-we-do/living-landscapes/wildlife- conservation-projects/pollinators

Charlotte Rowley Senior Marketing Officer

Ramblings from My Garden

So, I think we still need to discuss watering. In 20 years of gardening, this is the first year I have been conscious of how much water I’m using. This may be because I have always planted according to my first rule (or rather, Beth Chatto’s) of ‘right plant, right place’. I simply don’t put a damp shade lover in full sun all day. Over the years, this has been good enough to get me through the dry months, until now.

To be honest, the main problem this year (along with a changing climate) is that almost everything in my garden is newly-planted and yet to establish a decent root system. As a result, my second rule has been employed - make sure that soil can hold as much water as possible, by adding lots of organic matter. So, if

Helen Laidlow

your soil looks like dust when dry (as my soil looked when I took up sections of lawn) add as much compost or rotted manure as possible. I have lost count of the bags of compost I have added to my new dusty border.

Third rule – once you’ve got some moisture in the soil, you need to keep it there, so mulch the surface to stop water evaporating from it. You could use gravel or bark but make sure you buy ‘composted bark’ otherwise it uses up nitrogen in the soil as it breaks down, leaving your poor plants with a nitrogen deficiency! Personally, I have used a thick layer of compost for this job too. My plan is to renew the compost mulch

each summer to prevent water loss and then again in autumn to supress weeds after my autumn clear-up. The worms will take lots of the compost and nutrients deeper into the soil for me, so after a few years, I should achieve a decent soil quality.

Finally, my border is on a slight slope, so my fourth rule is to create a little dip in the soil at the base of each plant to stop run-off when I’m watering. This should ensure the water I do add, all stays at the roots of my new plants.

This time next year I’m hoping to have extensive root systems and moisture-holding soil, so that my watering requirements disappear again. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Plants that cope well with dry, sunny positions



AGAPANTHUS ISSUE 434 | 22 AUGUST 2019 | 30

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