Plant passion flowers and aconitums to brighten your borders this weekend.
Plus, do some weed control early next year to avoid problems.
Passion flowers captivate with their delicate flowers and edible fruits, African violets brighten the home, and garden centers stock a wide range of container plants for balconies and patios.
Autumn-flowering aconitums bring a splash of color to the garden.
Next year, weed “management” may be able to prevent problems.
The fruits of supermarket passion flower vines are grown on tropical vines that are not suitable for growing in gardens.
Hardy passion flowers, on the other hand, are fascinating vigorous evergreen climbers for large sunny, sheltered walls, with masses of flowers and, occasionally, edible (though not particularly rewarding) fruits.
Despite the fact that they can grow to be quite large, up to 8m in sheltered areas, they respond well to spring pruning.
Frost, in fact, frequently stunts their growth.
The Passiflora caerulea species is widely grown, but the white-flowered “Constance Elliott” and purple “Amethyst” (shown above) are also valuable.
African violets are year-round blooming houseplants.
Allow plenty of light – 12 hours per day if possible – but keep them out of direct summer sun.
Keep them at 18°C-24°C during the day and 16°C at night, and add humidity by placing pots on moist gravel.
Keep them moist, not wet, by using room-temperature water.
Use a fibrous potting compost, preferably one that has been specifically designed for African violets.
In high-impact areas such as balconies and patios, replace failing summer bedding.
Dwarf conifers, winter-flowering heathers, berried skimmia, variegated and golden-leaved ivies, and euonymus are all good choices because they don’t grow much in the winter.
These plants thrive in shadier areas, where flowers are less plentiful.
There are fewer winter flowers, with the best being pansies and violas, but daisies and primulas should also be considered.
Spring bulbs, particularly aconites, crocuses, dwarf narcissi, and tulips, can be used to supplement these.
In the autumn, the herbaceous Aconitum carmichaelii produces bright blue flower spikes.
“Arendsii,” a richly lavender blue to 120cm, “Bressingham Spire,” violet flower spikes to 90cm, and “Kelmscott,” a lavender blue to 150cm, are recommended for back of the border height.
Because aconitum is poisonous, use caution around young children and pets.
Some weeds will almost certainly survive and produce seeds.
Most will be eaten by insects or birds if left on the surface, or germinate in mild spells.
Weed seeds go dormant after being buried.
After being unearthed, about a third will germinate.
UK news summary from Infosurhoy
Weekend gardening projects: Plant passion flowers and aconitums to brighten your borders.
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