The perks of planting a wallflower variety

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SOUTHSEA GREEN: Planning for the new season

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If you read last week’s gardening feature, I was in the middle of cutting three feet off the tops of one of the Leylandii hedges in the back garden.

I am delighted the job is now complete and the hedge will be a lot easier to cut in future years.

As soon as that particular hedge was completed the one all along our front drive needed to be cut but this was just a trim job.

The electric hedge cutter which can be used at any angle was just brill. The trouble is the cuttings have to be swept up and taken to the recycling centre and that can be quite a pantomime.

The reason for the flurry of hedge cutting was because the wallflowers have to be planted in the border underneath the Leylandii hedge.

Wallflowers are the 
cheapest of the spring flow-ering plants and are easy to grow as long as the soil in the border or bed is well drained; they don’t like being in boggy conditions.

The soil underneath all hedges is always poor because no one ever feeds hedges due to the fact that if they are fed they grow even more!

Hedges provide shade too and lots of plants prefer to have plenty of light but here we go, wallflowers are excellent because they just want well drained soils and as hedges absorb moisture from the soil, the wallflowers are ready.

My wallflowers are grown in rows at the allot-ment. They were sown in June, watered well and then dusted with ant killer powder to kill off the flea beetles and I can remember telling you to treat yours.

The plants are brought home from the allotment in huge trays which hold about 50 plants. This keeps the foliage clean and this system helps my wife Pam because
she actually plants them.

The soil is dug over by me to a depth of about a foot and carefully raked over. A generous dressing of blood, fish and bone fertiliser is raked in and the plants are then planted firmly about eight inches apart.

The lovely plants are planted in what is called ‘crow’s foot’ design. This means the rows are not straight, the first two are planted and another one is planted behind and this continues.

As you know, we don’t plant ‘mixed’. We are planting the variety Wallflower Golden Bedder because by the time the flowers emerge the evergreen foliage will completely cover the border underneath that shady boring hedge and when the flowers arrive in spring it will bring a swathe of sunshine into the garden even if the sun has not come out to play.