It’s summer at last and, whilst a British summer can be excitingly unpredictable, one thing you can definitely expect is to see all your hard work over the long winter rewarded during the course of the season. Now’s the time to get out into the garden and enjoy the fruits of your labour!
June is only the beginning of summer of course, and you may have some last minute planting still to do. The risk of frost is low now, so it’s time to clear out the greenhouse, if you have one, and get your summer bedding and hanging baskets finished, because they’ll soon be bursting with life! But just as your flower beds will be teaming with life, the weeds will be stubbornly thriving too, so be sure to keep on top of them.
You’ll find some great last minute bargains at this time of year, especially on plug plants. If you’re looking for a little inspiration you can’t go wrong with a hardy geranium and this fantastic collection in our shop gives you six pretty varieties including the immensely popular Geranium Johnsons Blue, a deep violet colour that is a welcome sight in any garden.
We all look forward to the warmer weather and hopefully that’s what’s in store for us this summer! However, a spell of good weather means that we have to make sure we’re protecting our plants. Regular watering is a must, especially for those delicate basket plants which may need watering in both the morning and evening when summer reaches its peak.
If you haven’t already done so, June is a good month to ensure all your perennials are looking their best for summer. Taller border plants might need staking to ensure they grow in the direction you want them too, and this will also protect them from wind damage. Pruning and cutting back any early flowering plants will give you a great new flush of foliage and, for some, possibly a second flowering.
When looking around your flowerbeds you may find you have some unexpected gaps to fill. If you’re inclined towards creating a wildlife-friendly garden there are lots of great plants out there for attracting butterflies and bees. Why not try something a little different such as Bee balm, or Monarda, to use its botanical name? These mint scented spiky pom-pom headed flowers are a treat for the eyes and the nose and absolutely loved by pollinating insects.
Although encouraging insects into your garden is hugely beneficial for many of your flowers, there can be times when you’d rather not have to share your lovingly cultivated garden wares. If you’re lucky enough to have space for fruit trees you may be familiar with the annual race to pick your fruit before the birds steal the best of your crop! In spring a good solution is to use protective netting, but that will need to be removed now.
Many gardeners have found a creative solution by hanging old CDs or DVDs from the branches. Light bouncing off these homemade detractors should keep the birds away. This is a great activity for children to help with, although do make sure the owner of the disc is definitely finished with it first!