Sunday, 30 September 2018

Standards

Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania USA
Recently I was lucky enough to visit a garden which was just stunning and it was patently obvious that the gardeners were dab hands at standardising plants. 

Training plants to a single trunk and clipping the foliage into a rounded, domed or mushroom shape gives great height in a garden without taking up too much space at ground level, which enables underplanting with other plants too. See the excellent example of this left and more images of Longwood here which looks just so lovely and would have to be on any wish list to visit.

Just a few tips on how to make a standard. Set a stake in the soil next to your plant and tie the growing stem to the stake every 6 or so centimeters. By keeping the stem upright does more than just keeping the trunk straight. Upright growth is inherently vigorous and hormones produced in buds at the top of such stems naturally suppress growth of the lower buds, this is just what is wanted to create a standard!

Other buds will still grow on the stem - these must be removed as will any other shoots growing from ground level. If you get to them while young, snapping them off rather than cutting lessens the chance of regrowth.

Once the main stem reaches full height, it's time to form the mop head. The length of the trunk depends, physiologically on the vigor of your chosen plant, making it (for instance) difficult to create a very long trunk on a naturally weak-growing, weeping plant. To achieve good dense growth of the mop head assiduous pinching out is needed by removing the tips of all shoots after every few centimeters of growth. Completely cut away any temporary branches or leaves lower down along the trunk or new ones will start to grow there. Just keep at it....... in the end it will look just stunning.

Once you've achieved your desired size and shape of the standard, periodic maintenance pruning is required to keep it thus.



Thursday, 27 September 2018

2018 Presentation Night Photos

The following are the photos taken on Friday night at the Presentation Night. Please feel free to copy any images taken by Garry.