Sweet scents of August

Clematis: Now is the time to prune two of the three types of clematis you might have growing in your garden.
Clematis: Now is the time to prune two of the three types of clematis you might have growing in your garden.

August is often a windy month, so hold on to your hats when you are out getting your daily dose of sunshine!

Recent windy weather has dried things out somewhat; remember to water newly planted trees and shrubs, especially ones that were planted as bare-rooted.

Also check the stakes and ties on deciduous trees planted last year that the ties are not too tight. Remove them if the tree is solid and not at risk of being rocked by the wind.

August jobs

Treat leaf curl, a virulent and resistant fungal disease that affects the leaves of peach and nectarine trees. Spray with copper oxychloride or lime sulphur (both have low environmental impact). To be effective, spraying must be done when the buds first start to swell – once the buds begin to open it is too late.

Feed spring bulbs before they start to die down to ensure a good flowering next year. Keep deadheading bulbs that have flowered to divert the plant’s energy to forming next year’s flower inside the bulb, rather than forming seeds.

Sweet scents for indoors

Daphne, Forsythia, Chimonanthus praecox (wintersweet), Sarcococca confusa (sweet box) and viburnum x bodnantense deben or dawn are all sweetly scented and cutting them is a good way of pruning them to shape and providing great fragrance in the house as well.

Pruning clematis

There are three types of clematis and now is the time to prune quite a few of them if you haven’t aleady done so.

Group 1 clematis (eg C. montana) flower in early spring on the previous year’s growth, so don’t need pruning.

Group 2 (eg large-flowered types) flower on shoots produced on the previous year’s growth so can be pruned lightly in late winter or early spring by removing any dead or weak stems and cutting remaining stems back to the highest pair of strong-growing buds.

Group 3 (eg C. viticella types) flower late in summer on new growth so can be cut back hard.

The Armidale Garden Club has its next meeting scheduled for Thursday, August 24 at the Uniting Church Youth Club Hall, starting at 7pm.