The Hatfeild Horticultural - Morden Hall Park's midsummer gardening guide

Mr Alderman in the newly-created Rose Garden at Morden Hall Park

Gilliat Edward Hatfeild left Morden Hall Park to the National Trust on his death in 1941. A true countryman, with a love of trees and wildlife, Mr Hatfeild was especially fond of gardens. You can still visit his Rose Garden in Morden Hall Park. This garden guide is inspired by his legacy.

Jobs for the garden

Getting rid of summer pests

Summer is finally here, all your hard work and preparation is finally coming to fruition, your garden is looking lovely and colourful and – hold on! You come out one morning to find your beautiful flowers have been decimated overnight by the Number One Gardeners’ Enemies – the slug and snail.

It’s heart breaking isn’t it? While you have to feel a little sympathy for an organism whose only purpose in life appears to be food for something else, it’s hard to feel too sorry for them. How can you get rid of the pesky things? Here are a few options:

Pellets and liquid pesticides

These are some of the most popular choices of slug/snail control as they are relatively cheap to buy and easily applied on or around plants. Although fairly effective, these remedies can be harmful to children and pets so it is vital to follow the instructions for use as directed on each product.

Copper tape

This is a good, safe alternative in your garden if your plants are kept in pots.The tape is placed around the pots and acts as a deterrent by emitting a small electric charge as the slug/snail climbs up and attempts to cross the tape.

Slug traps

A chemical free option, safe for children and pets and ideal for the organic gardener, slugs and snails are attracted into the trap which can then be disposed of without handling.

Morden Hall Park Garden Centre staff recommend

Jo, who works in the garden centre, uses organic wool pellets for her plants. She says: "You'll never completely keep slugs and snails off of your plants. I use wool pellets which are laid around the plant to provide a protective barrier by absorbing moisture from the slug or snail as they try to cross over the pellets."

"They are biodegradable, and safe for children and pets. Try to make sure that foliage is well away from the edges of pots or doesn’t touch the ground, as slugs and snails will use any leaves and overhang as a bridge across your pellets. Remember to top up the pellets a couple of times over the season and your plants will be better protected."

The Alderman Pea

Mr Alderman was the Head Gardener here at Morden Hall Park during the 1920s. His name is linked to the heritage seed variety the Alderman Pea, a well-known, reliable and heavy cropping variety of garden pea.

It's said the variety goes back to the 1890s, and packets of Alderman pea seeds are available in the garden centre. So why not grow your own historical peas? You can still sow seeds in June for an August crop.