Expert Advice at Hampton Court13th July 2013 • Hampton Court Flower Show • Stephanie 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.
- 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.
- 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.