Dennis Norgate died last Monday the 2nd of October. With him a hundred and fifty years garden lineage also ends. Norgate’s mother worked for the well known English nurserymen, the Pritchard Brothers. They in turn had in their younger days worked for the famous French nurseryman Victor Lemoine who opened his nursery in Nancy in 1850.
Whilst Lilium bulbs can be planted for much of the winter and early spring, by far the best time to do the job is May-June as this gives the bulbs time to make strong root growth before top growth commences. The bulbs we are offering have just been dug and are all top quality and of excellent size.
Sweet Peas are traditionally sown on St Patrick’s Day, the 17th of March, although it’s fine to sow anytime from mid-March to mid-April. Later sowings can be made but you then risk the plants not growing as well as they might.
My father let me have my first garden bed when I was eight or nine years old some sixty five years ago. The bed, surrounded on three sides by a dry stone wall, measured 90cm by 180cm. I crammed as many plants as I could get my hands on into it including a Forsythia.
Clematis are not difficult to grow provided a few simple measures are observed: Prepare the soil for these clematis by digging as deeply as possible a patch 60-80cm across and incorporating compost. Animal manures should not be used. A dusting of ground lime should be added if the soil isn’t alkaline. Plant each of these clematis 4cm deeper than it is in the pot.
A favourite garden tool of mine is a Dutch hoe that Dennis Norgate gave to me 25 years ago. Norgate used it for decades to keep his flower paddocks clean of weeds and goodness knows how many years the old Dutch gardener who passed it on to him had used it. My guess is that this tool has been constantly knocking weeds over for the best part of three quarters of a century.
I can’t say that I enjoy eating pumpkin but my wife, children and most of my grandchildren do so I generally grow a patch each year. In the past I’ve sown seed that Lambley imported from the USA. The advantage of this seed was its early maturity.