Search This Blog

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Garden Guide, WWII leaflet: May

Hello everybody.

Happy Tuesday!
Now that the forst are surely behing us, it is high time to rol up our sleeves and get some serious work done in our gardens. No matter whether they are productive market gardens, herbal kitchen gardens, decorative flower patches or just pots on your balcony - get them going.

Here's nothing new: the days are longer. Much longer. Taking a look at my ermmm.. device, and it tells me that the Sun has risen at 05:23 (I can confirm that; since I'm rising at the same time) and it will set at 19:53. That gives us all quite an amount of time to head to our gardens, get on our balconies (go to an alotment.. if you have one such plot).. and, believe me, that is over 19 hours of sunlight.. a productive gardener can do marvels in that time. That is so much sun-time, enought even for a gardening enthusiast with a full time job (like me).

Let't take a look at our 
historically accurategardening booklet 
and get some ideas:

All of the pages of this leaflet are precicely designed to maximize your war-effort, to boost up your garden's productivity and to make the most of every moment, every patch of dirt and every second in growth-time you have awailabe (that is the main principle of Not Being Hungry) :)
However, the creators of the leaflet were aware that folks still needed some joy and something refreshing.. something to make them really want to garden, and they incorporated a little extra. This time, it's an extra page on birds.

As for your flower garden.. (remember;: these leflets do not feture those, since back in WWII growing flowers was consideren an Invasion of Space, and was wastly discouraged).. I have for you somewhat modern list:
1. Sowing and planting
Plant out cannas and dahlia,when the danger of frost has passed. Tubs can be planted up with summer bedding in milder areas. In colder areas further north or at high altitudes, it is advised to wait until early June, or until all risk of frost has passed.
If you want to grow your own spring bedding for next year, many common choices (including wallflowerspansies, and daisiesBellis perennis) need to be sown between now and July in order to flower next spring, as they are biennials.
Winter bedding plants can also be sown from now until July.
Remove faded wallflowers and spring bedding from beds and containers, to make space for summer plantings.
2. Cutting back, pruning and dividing
Divide clumps of herbaceous perennials that you want to propagate. Bamboos and clumps of bulbs or rhizomes can be divided in the same way. Cutting back clumps of spring-flowering perennials such as Pulmonaria and Doronicum can encourage a fresh flush of foliage.
Divide Primula (primroses) after flowering, planting them in a nursery bed until they are ready for planting out again in the autumn, for a display the following spring.
Divide hostas as they come into growth.
Spreading and trailing plants such as the annual Lobularia (sweet alyssum), and the perennials Alyssum and Aubrieta, can become tatty and patchy. Trimming them back after flowering encourages fresh growth and new flowers.
Lift and divide over crowded clumps of daffodils after they have flowered.
Deadhead tulips and daffodils.
3. Propagation
Take softwood cuttings of tender perennials like ArgyranthemumPelargonium and Fuchsia. They will provide new plants for display later this summer.
Perennials that are showing new shoots from the crown can be propagated via basal stem cuttings.

There you have it - quite the number of jobs.. something for everyone. If you are an absolute beginner, not knowing your flower from your fork (doubtably, but, still).. I've linked every species to a wiki page, so you can spot them, read about them - ypou ust may already have them in your garden, my dear friends!
Keep busy.


  1. Oh how I wish that I were good with plants but alas I could kill any plant just by looking at it. I do love to see other people's lovely gardens though, and I especially admire those who can grow fruits and veg in an allotment.

    1. My dear Christina,
      No one really kills the plant, it's the plant that gives up. :)
      Don't feel bad about it - in gardening, there's also such thing as "baby steps" to be taken. Start with something that someone else grown FOR you, something in a pot.. and keep it alive for a while.. then move on to something more demanding.


  2. Ha! My tomatoes are already out, and they seem to be doing pretty well. Can't say the same for my peppers, though, they are looking miserable. How is your garden doing?

    1. Mim,
      This is not the year for vegetables (on my own plot), since the builders are all over it, and it's covered with piles and piles of building materials. My parent's garden, on the other hand: we'll be planting tomatoes today (when I get from work). As for pepers - we haven't had the luck with them, since there's just too much fruit over there, the shade is overwhelming.


  3. I love vintage gardening books and articles, and this one is just great, especially because it's from a time when people really did have to grow their own veggies (amazing to think about, actually).

    1. Thank you ever so much, dear.
      There are a lot of leaflets and book from the age out there, so ifg you're interested in the subject, you can surely find a LOT of info.