Looking around the garden it must surely be time to consider which flowering plants to give a little face-lift to which will enable them to take you through into the winter months. As I frequently comment, here in Mallorca we really do have all year round flowers, some garden flowers and many wild ones.
I will start off with the Roses, although not all year round you will have them in flower for at least another four months if you continue to dead-head them and snip out any really sad looking bits. They will need watering of course and weeding as well as adding a little fresh top soil or even fertiliser or manure (if any falls your way!!)
I have noticed that the Osteospermums are filling out with masses of new leaf. They make wonderful ground cover and once in the garden they survive for years.
They do tend to grow very long and straggly so cut back into shape and you will find all the little new sprouting leaves down the stems will help the plant bush out, Some may well have flower buds appearing on the tips of the new growth so you can be assured once again that the daisy-like flower with it’s navy blue centre or any of the other coloured varieties of this species will soon be filling the flower border with colour.
It is a really hardy perennial and easy to grow, it self seeds continually under the main plant so transplant these healthy little seedlings to give them space, even pot a few up to be able to give away, there will certainly be more than you will ever want in one garden.
Many shrubs and bushy plants will be growing beyond themselves with yards long branches that seem to get out of hand in just a few days. It really doesn’t hurt some of these that I will name, if they are really well cut back. Buddleia, commonly known as the Butterfly bush is one such that really thrives when dead-headed, even cut back by half to encourage it to bush out again. Many of these cuttings take root easily when popped into fresh soil in a plant pot and there once again you have something to give away or plant in another corner of the garden. It does survive in a large enough pot so can be added to the terrace.
Browallia was another shrubby plant that surprised me. I was given a cutting over the coffee table one morning a couple of years ago and asked what it was called, I had no idea so had to search for it but between us all its name was discovered.
My cutting, I took home and popped it into the garden, not only does it grow and flower every year but several plants are coming up around it which I am assuming are healthy root suckers and even some of those have produced a flower or two. And even more interesting I discovered this very same little perennial shrub growing in a flower border in Indonesia whilst I was on holiday there (when we were still allowed to travel there!!)
Now to our readers comments. Jill Carter says she was picking the leaves off her Jasmine and found they were sticky and asked what she should do about it. This sticky substance frequently comes from secretions left by aphids, usually on the underside of the leaves. This in turn attracts black mildew and really spoils the look of the plant.
I am told that diluted washing up liquid sprayed on the underside of the leaves can frequently help eliminate the disease. There are products available in garden shops as well which go under the name of a ‘fungicide’. Having mentioned last week some intruders that are frequently found in the garden every summer, this stickiness that Jill mentions I am sorry to say can be frequently found on many plants, vines are especially prone to the mildew and 1 frequently find it on the Bat tree.
Now just round the corner we move into September with loads more to do in the garden, not only thinking of autumn and harvesting but beginning all over again for this all year round gardening in the Mediterranean climate.