Over the last month, weather permitting, we spent many hours working on our Long Borders. This is the time of year we lift and divide clumps of herbaceous perennials that need revitalizing. The centres of older clumps usually die out (the young vigorous growth being to the outside), so we discard the old central section and replant the outer portions.
We also take the opportunity to pull any perennials that have an invasive tendency back into their allotted space. Plants quickly re-establish and grow away as spring progresses. However, they will not achieve their maximum height in the first growing season after division, as they need to re-establish their root system first.
The borders are fed with a balanced feed (we use Growmore) and then we mulch with a mix of manure and bark. This is prepared by passing through a shredder to mix it, and then it's covered for 12 months, during which time it rots down beautifully.
This mix helps improve our soil structure, reduces weed growth, retains soil moisture and gives a little nutrition to the herbaceous perennials which are hungry plants; not surprising as they make so much growth in a very short period of time from a dormant clump to a flowering plant in 3-4 months.
All this effort is well worth it as the borders always look fabulous during the summer months.