Stunning plants are showing off

The apple arch at Arundel Castle.

The apple arch at Arundel Castle.

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THE garden team is incredibly busy with pruning, planting, mowing lawns, clipping hedges, weeding, deadheading, staking, watering and harvesting our fantastic soft fruit and vegetables from the organic kitchen garden for the castle.

With the arrival of July, summer is truly here, and to mark this event some of our most stunning plants have begun to show off, like our magnificent “Agapanthus umbellatus ovatus” which have wonderful dark to light blue trumpet-shaped flowers and can be found in the Collector Earl’s garden in the terracotta pots running alongside the water rill.

Agapanthus, commonly known as “African Lily” or “Lily of the Nile”, were first introduced to England from South Africa.

Luckily Arundel is far enough south (not quite the southern hemisphere!) to allow us to keep some of our hardier varieties outside.

There are many cultivars and hybrids to choose from.

Some of our other attractive plants to look out for in the Collector Earl’s Garden are the “Acanthus spinosus” or commonly known as “Bear’s Breeches” which are a hardy perennial with handsome foliage and display tall stunning spikes of hooded flowers.

The Acanthus leaves were the inspiration for the decoration on Corinthian Columns in ancient Greece. “Monarda didyma” are tall and have showy red flowers, set against a backdrop of aromatic foliage, which adds great interest to the borders, these are great at attracting bees and butterflies, the leaves can be used in pot pourri.

“Phygelius aequalis” - Yellow Trumpet has pale yellow trumpet flowers, whilst Phygelius - Winchester Fanfare has dusky red/pink flowers with a scarlet tip, this is in full bloom in the organic kitchen garden.

Also looking good in the walled gardens are many varieties of Salvias, including - sclarea Turkestanica and “Hot Lips”.

We have just been pruning our apple arches, July is the best month for summer pruning your established apple trees.

Summer pruning is important as it controls the size of the tree, reduces the uptake of Nitrogen which in turn increases the intake of nutrient Potassium, which stimulates buds to produce flowers for next years crop.

It is very important to prune plums and cherries only in summer to avoid Silver Leaf disease, as the spores of the fungus are released in autumn and winter.

Tips from the garden team:

Summer prune your apples, there are excellent books and the web for how to summer prune.

Feed herbaceous perennials with a good organic fertilizer, placed carefully between the plants and then water in.

Divide and replant irises.

Cut lavender for drying

Happy Gardening!

For further information on the castle, garden tours, opening times and upcoming events visit our website at www.arundelcastle.org