Gardening: Sunshine time

WELL, we have certainly had welcome rain - a little sun would be useful now to prevent fungal diseases.

Keep a watchful eye on those drought-tolerant plants, which have tended to dominate the landscape.

Many of the grass-type species will just hate this amount of rain.

Cordylines and phormiums can suddenly flop over if they are planted in badly drained areas.

Over-watering in pots can also cause this problem which tends to occur more rapidly in some of the darker-leafed introductions of these species.

If in doubt apply a root fungicide such as Fongarid to discourage root rot.

Mondo Grass began our love affair with grasses - this prolific little border plant led to the introduction of the black form, which is slow growing.

Then came Liriope muscari, commonly known as Evergreen Giant, which bears spikes of purple flowers.

It looks great in a pot or plants to provide accent in the garden.

Be careful when planting out as they grow much bushier than they appear as a small potted plant.

I've noted the demand for cordylines is slowing down.

I feel that this has been a journey of discovery or gardeners who have now realised that many cordylines develop a singular trunk dropping the lower leaves and become big.

Certainly much larger than they appear in their lovely coloured pots in retail outlets.

Let's not give all cordylines the death knell. I find the broader leaf varieties which once were cultivated as indoor plants perform well in outdoor garden design. They look great on patios or in the semi-shade to add colour - my favourites are Cordyline Nigra and Pink Diamond.

Grassy leafed plants seem to be here to stay and they will certainly provide accent in the garden.

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