Gardening Week 18th July – 24th July
The weather man tells us that clearer skies are on the horizon, but for the past fortnight there has not been a day that the heavens have not opened showering upon us their anger. The bedding plants that managed to show some colour between showers immediately lost their petals during the next downpour, and the buds of the roses balled before they managed to open. One flower shone out head and shoulders above the rest and held its petals with vigour. It therefore earns a place of fame to be this week’s, flower of this week. My memories of a daisy as a child are a small little white flower with a hollow stalk that could be sliced in the middle to form a daisy chain whilst sitting on the village green on a Sunday afternoon. But now everything has doubled in size and vigour, and we have huge daisy like flowers in all colours, boasting flowers 12cm. across on sturdy 50cm. stems better known as gerbera.
Flower of the week from YOUR garden to YOUR table: 18th July – 24th July.
Botanical Name: Gerbera. Common Name: Gerbera, or Germini (those with smaller flower heads).
It is interesting that the lovely gerbera was hardly known in the United Kingdom fifty years and was only introduced from South Africa a few decades ago as a cut flower. Even then it was not a suitable flower to grow in our climate, had plant breeders not intervened and produced a gerbera hybrid which is now hardy in most parts of the U.K. I have a clump in my garden which I overwintered last year without any protection (although it was quite close to the house) I don’t know any newcomer which has become so accepted in the cut flower world – it now ranks as the fifth most popular flower in the world!
Gerbera plants are commonly available in flower in garden centres, B & Q and Nottcutts were both selling large pots at quite reasonable prices and if it will overwinter it is quite a good investment. The showy blooms in your garden will be a talking point of every passing pedestrian!
You can easily cut a few for a vase as the plant keeps throwing up new stems. The plant is commercially distributed without water but I still advise you to put water in your vase.
It is the most long lasting flower to my knowledge and at least a fortnight is normal – but as we all like a change I still hope to be back next week with a different flower!
Money saving tip :
Hydrangea plants can be expensive around £15 for a good size plant. But this week Lidl are selling these plants for just £6.99 , including a white flowered variety that is quite unusual. Long lasting flowers and good foliage all in one!
I wrote a few weeks ago how the supermarkets are desperate to rid their shelves of their gardening gear and reducing their prices by 20 to 30 % – Asda has gone one step further and many items are now reduced by 75%!!
Next week : Climbers that won’t suffocate your garden.
Enjoy your gardening week!