Tales from the plant centre

This month brings popular requests, planting for spring and a mole who's lost his way

The setting of the plant centre at RHS Garden Harlow Carr is at its loveliest this time of year. Watering and weeding in the sun overlooking the Main Borders feels more of a treat than a job! The mixture of colours and textures against the woodland backdrop is picture perfect. It’s no wonder that our visitors want to take home the stars of the show that they've seen in the garden.

the view across the Plant Centre into the gardensThey're impressed by the striking swathes of late summer favourites such as Monarda ‘Gardenview Scarlet’ AGM, Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ AGM and Sedum ‘Vera Jameson’ AGM. These are among our most popular requests at the moment together with flowering grasses such as the fountain grass, Pennisetum thunbergii ‘Red Buttons’.

Bulbs for spring

We might be basking in the tail end of summer but it’s all change in the glasshouse this week with the arrival of our first delivery of bulbs for next season. Spring favourites like daffodils, tulips and crocus can be planted from August onwards and need a sunny site with good drainage, while woodland bulbs like snowdrops and bluebells prefer a moist, shaded position. These need planting as soon as possible after purchase.

Most bulbs also grow well in poRescued molets, with early-summer flowering varieties like alliums being perfect for adding a splash of colour to mixed planters.

To improve the performance of potted bulbs, use a specialist bulb compost and feed regularly once shoots appear with a high potassium feed.

And finally, another instalment in our animal rescue escapades... We’ve already had a cat and a homing pigeon, but this month it was the turn of a very lost mole. We found Mr Mole wandering around the Plant Centre. After donning some thick gloves we managed to catch our little intruder and he was safely returned to the local woods, well away from our lovely manicured lawns!

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