In the garden this week I have several stunning alstroemeria flowering their heads off.

They are herbaceous perennial plants with striking lance-shaped foliage, vertical stately stems and sumptuous, tropical-like blooms. Alstroemeria are produced in a wide range of colours, with each petal displaying a unique fleck or marking. They look their best when positioned in flower beds and borders but I also have some in containers too. My two current favourites are Indian Summer and Summer Red. The former, produce open clusters of funnel-shaped flowers from summer into autumn and are yellow-orange with red markings and brown streaks on the inner petals. The flowers are long lasting too.

A wonderful garden to visit this weekend with the National Garden Scheme is Follers Manor in White Way, the road between Seaford and Alfriston. It is a contemporary garden designed around a 17th century listed historic farmhouse. There is an entrance courtyard, sunken garden, herbaceous displays, wildlife pond, wildflower meadows, woodland area and magnificent views of the South Downs. It is open between 11am and 4pm today and tomorrow with entrance £8. Full details at

Earlier in the year I was given several sweet pea plants which are doing really well and already producing lots of flowers. It is important to remember to water and feed them regularly, also to pick the flowers every few days, and remove seed pods to prolong flowering. I don’t usually have much success with them but this year seems to be different.

This is the time of year to keep an eye open for pests such as lily beetles, snails, aphids and vine weevils, and remove before they do too much harm. Touch wood, I do not seem to have them so far this year.

If you are growing tomatoes this year then do remember to water daily to prevent drying out, which can lead to split fruits and blossom end rot. This is especially true if in the greenhouse but outdoors will be faring better with the amount of rain we have been experiencing.

I can’t believe that with all the nice weather we have had, my National Garden Scheme Open Day this week was plagued with wet weather, reducing all my tea and cake sales. It was impossible to get the garden tidied as I would have liked.

Several days of sunshine are going to be needed to bring it back to life again.

Read more of Geoff’s garden at