insideKENT Magazine Issue 63 - June 2017 - Page 158

OUTDOORLIVING YOUR GARDEN NEEDS THIS MONTH cont. PLANT OUT SUMMER BEDDING For successional planting: many public gardens change their bedding displays twice a year, replanting in late spring (for summer) and early autumn (for winter/spring). However, the highest maintenance displays require late spring, mid-to-late summer and autumn plantings. Whichever regime you choose, this can be done in small gardens too. For replanting twice a year: try the summer combination of begonia, the flowering seedheads of ornamental grasses (such as Pennisetum setaceum Rubrum) and late- flowering salvia and verbena. For winter, plant perennials such as bergenia, cyclamen, hellebores and viola to give interesting foliage as well as flower colour during mild spells. SHADE GREENHOUSES There are various means of shading greenhouses and conservatories. External blinds: give shade and also provide the maximum cooling effect by preventing the sun's rays from passing through the glass. In periods of dull weather they can be easily drawn up again to allow maximum light onto 158 plants. However, they are likely to be one of the more expensive options (and may interfere with vents). Internal blinds: do not have the same cooling effect as external blinds since sunlight is allowed to pass through the glass and generates heat. However, they are probably more easily automated than external blinds in order to provide shade when it is most required. There are a wide variety of materials available in a range of degrees of shading and with varying permeability to allow air exchange. Polyethylene mesh or netting (shade netting): is usually placed inside the glasshouse and fixed with clips. External fitting is better, but harder to arrange. This is a cheaper option than blinds. The plastic is likely to biodegrade over a number of years, but is not expensive to replace. Shading paints: are diluted in water and painted onto the outside of the glass in spring – examples include SunClear, Varishade and Nixol. As the season progresses, thicker applications can be applied. In early autumn the coating is washed and brushed off. Shade paints are less suitable for unpainted timber structures that are left as natural wood and for structures glazed with acrylic or polycarbonate because even thorough cleansing may fail to remove all visible traces of paint. Some paints are designed to become translucent when wetted. The RHS is a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. Their work is driven by a simple love of plants and the belief that gardeners make the world a better place. For more information visit