IF YOU are looking for something topical to add to your garden this weekend then why not try Poppy “Royal Wedding”? It is certainly very appropriate, bearing in mind what’s happening today. This Oriental Poppy is perfect for cottage gardens and Poppy ‘Royal Wedding’ is the pick of the bunch, with glistening white petals and a dark centre to each bloom. Bees and butterflies love the nectar-rich flowers. They are a hardy perennial and fairly easy to grow, especially in a sunny border and produce over-sized flowers in early summer each year, followed by attractive seed heads. They can be sown direct in the ground this month too.

I’ve been busy in my own garden, finishing off the planting of a few extra annuals. I’m already on the fourth feed of all the plants in the garden and the results are really starting to show. With only 13 days left now until the first people visit the garden for 2018, there is still much to do. The freezer is now full of cakes for the first few public open days but many more fresh ones will need to be baked ahead of each event. It’s quite hard to take in but since we first opened the garden, back in 2009, over £20,000 has been raised from tea and cake sales alone.

There are a few gardens opening for the National Garden Scheme this weekend that you might like to visit. Why not visit Harlands Gardens, centred around Penland Road in Haywards Heath. This is a brand-new group for 2018 and is an eclectic mix of town gardens, built and designed by busy people who love and enjoy their gardens. They compromise awkward shapes and differing gradients and are designed with relaxation and socialisation in mind. Why not take a trip and see them for yourselves and perhaps pick up some inspiration for your own plot? They are open both Saturday and Sunday with full details at www.ngs.org.uk

If you fancy a bit of drama or lavish extravagance this summer, Why not make up a couple of hanging baskets. Their lush cascades of foliage and flowers can create a real eye catcher in the garden. What’s more, it’s a great opportunity to experiment with imaginative combinations, including houseplants, and escape from run of-the-mill bedding options. You can go for a gentle blend of foliage and flowers, one full of deliciously fragrant plants, or simply foliage. All will be luxuriant and are full of impact. Try and go for larger hanging baskets, as they will retain more moisture, keeping your planting masterpiece in better condition than a small one. A trick I always use is to either place a plastic saucer in the base to retain water or use some tin foil.

Read more on Geoff’s garden at www.driftwoodbysea.co.uk