There is a window of opportunity on the Plants for Bugs plots - between the end of sampling from phase one of the project to the beginning of new research - when lots of our 'to do' list can hopefully be ticked off.
The first big task is to mulch all the beds with green waste compost (all made on site from the green waste produced by RHS Garden Wisley). More on this in a later post.
The second task is to try and fill any plant gaps, including finding alternatives to plants that have never really thrived on our soil.
Here are some of the plants that we are looking at changing (for the botany buffs among you);
Replacing exotic Blechnum chilense fern (just not wet enough) with Polystichum proliferum
Replacing native Malva moschata (too short-lived) with Silene uniflora
Replacing near-native Malva alcea (too short-lived) with Lychnis flos-jovis
Replacing exotic Nerine bowdenii (too shaded by other plants) with Galtonia candicans
Replacing near-native Rhodanthemum hosmariense (unable to withstand a wet winter) with Anthemis punctata subsp cupaniana
Bulking up near-native Armeria juniperifolia with fresh stock
Taking out the overgrown exotic Pittosporum tenuifolium with young plants
Entry via quarantine
All new plants to Wisley need to enter via our Reception House in Propagation. They will stay there for a good couple of weeks with regular inspection for any unwanted pests or diseases. Only once given a full bill of health will they then be permitted to be planted.
Other jobs still to come include replacing all the rotten climber posts and finding a solution to effective watering after planting. With 36 beds to contend with a slosh with a watering can doesn't really make the grade!
Read about the Plants for Bugs study