The summer has proved a serious challenge to all gardeners. With little break from the relentless rain, most of the gardeners I know are dismayed at their summer bedding, appalled by the vegetable production and frustrated by the attack of slugs that have invaded their shrubs.
All this rain has given me time (indoors, unfortunately) to assess our Irish gardens in this monsoon type summers we have been experiencing over the past few years. I have made some observations that may prove successful, if you wish to combat the consequences of a wet summer they are as follows,
- Container planting seems to be more successful in these wet summers, keep to large pots, which even in windy weather won’t dry out so quickly.
- Planting beds that are on a steep slope seem to do well in wet summers, I have seen an abundance of shrubs flowering very well on such steep gardens.
- Keep limited amount of bedding plants in your shrub beds, spend your money on less lush herbaceous plants that will withstand the slug invasion. Ferns species such as Dryopteris or Matteuccia. Astilbe species, Crocosmia species and Alchemilla mollis seems to tolerate too the soggy Irish garden.
- We gardeners should be introducing more ponds into our garden, this will encourage frogs and other creatures that will munch on slugs that seem to thrive in these wet summers.
On the up though, trees have really benefited from all this rain. In my own garden, I see bareroot whip planting put in a few years ago have now stretched to the same height as trees planted at the same time. Ferns too on old stonewalls seem to also love this rain, giving a lovely lush fringe to boundaries around our towns.