• Donnington Grove

Green Fingers

National Gardening Weeek 30 April – 6 May

National Gardening Week was launched seven years ago by the RHS and aims to become the country’s biggest celebration of gardening. Thousands of people, gardens, charities, retailers, culture and heritage organisations and groups have got involved over the years and you can too.

In 2018 at the RHS, National Gardening Week is all about sharing your passion for plants. At our four RHS Gardens, we will be running activities and events which will inspire and help gardeners, including creative ideas, tips and suggestions for plants to grow indoors and outdoors.

Here are some suggestions if you’d like to get involved in 2018.

Join the celebrations Events and activities are being run up and down the country. From beginners’ workshops to guided walks, face painting to garden parties, there’s something for everyone and everyone is invited.

Find out what’s on.

Get involved

Would you like to throw a garden party, love your neighbourhood park or think your local street could do with a tidy up? Well if so, you can get involved in National Gardening Week by running your own event and registering it with us online. No matter how big or small your idea, we’d love to have you involved.

Do something fun

There are plenty of things you can do yourself or with your family to get into the spirit of National Gardening Week, from growing tomatoes on your windowsill to sprucing up your driveway. Spread the word Don’t forget to show your support of National Gardening Week by sharing your stories and pictures with us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Pruning

When pruning perennials some plants benefit from having their flowering shoots thinned out. Although this results in fewer blooms, they are larger and of better quality.

Delphiniums, lupins and phlox all benefit from this process. Divide herbaceous perennials when they are too large for their allotted space, are flowering poorly or have lost their shape.

Bamboos and clumps of bulbs or rhizomes can be divided in the same way. When transplanting the divisions make sure they have roots, shoots, and are given adequate water to settle into their new positions.

Sweet Peas

Sweet peas can be sown outside this month. Plant out autumn-sown sweet peas that have been raised in pots, and prepare your wigwam supports for them to climb, using a light twine to tie the plants in.

If you started sowing early in March, or even February, you may have modules of young hardy annuals now ready for planting out.

Hanging Baskets

Towards the end of the month, in mild areas, you may be able to plant up hanging baskets for the summer. When planting hanging baskets use slow-release fertiliser and water-retaining gel.

April jobs

Spring is finally in evidence as daffodils and flowering trees start to bloom.

Expect the inevitable April showers this month but with sunny days too, when you can turn your attention to the lawn. It is an exciting month, with indoor-sown seeds well into growth, and also time to start sowing outdoors. Just watch out for frosts.

1 Keep weeds under control

2 Protect fruit blossom from late frosts

3 Tie in climbing and rambling roses

4 Sow hardy annuals, herbs and wildflower seed outdoors

5 Increase the water given to houseplants

6 Feed hungry shrubs and roses 7 Prune fig trees 8 Divide bamboos and waterlilies