• Expert Advice at Hampton Court

    13th July 2013Hampton Court Flower ShowStephanie Donaldson

    If you have a horticultural problem or query, a flower show is an ideal place to find out what you want to know, either from a stall holder or from the RHS. I arrived with three queries, all of which were answered.

    Q. Rust ruins my Garlic Crop – is there anything I can do?
    A. According to The Garlic Farm, elephant garlic is less prone to rust and is worth a try, otherwise there is little to be done as the spores float in from other gardens.

    the garlic farm stand at the hampton court flower show 2013

    Q. I bought some Nicotiana mutabilis seeds at the Chelsea Flower Show, sowed them immediately and they are now growing well in 7cm pots. How soon might they flower?
    A. Avon Bulbs gave me a pat on the back for successfully germinating them which was a nice start and then said with lots of sun, water and liquid feed I should have a glorious display of this lovely flower in September. They also suggested that I sow the remaining seed next March for an earlier display and that I could also try overwintering some plants, but that if I bring them undercover they should not be allowed to dry out. Great advice from a favourite nursery.

    The Avon Bulbs stand at the Hampton Court Flower Show 2013

    Q. How long after I’ve cut back hardy geraniums following their first flowering will they reflower?
    A.“Ah”, said the man at the Hopley’s Nursery stand “have you got an event coming up? I admitted I had – our garden is open in aid of Thrive on August 6th (more details will be posted shortly) and some geraniums are definitely due a haircut. He broke the news that there will be nice mounds of fresh foliage, but it will take two months for them to reflower. So colour will have to come from elsewhere.

    geraniums in need of cutting back