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Full Glory

July 6, 2012

gardenblog79.jpgI always look forward to the Hampton Court Flower Show as it never fails to inspire me with ideas for my garden designs. This year we were spoilt with an admirable selection of large show gardens, as well as water and small gardens. Enough to tantalise any gardener! I loved it! I was lucky to be able to go this year and I’m just so inspired!

Anyway, let’s look at our own gardens and see how we can make the best of this this month.

The summer garden should now be in its full glory, but the lack of sunshine through June may have slowed down the growth of some plants, nevertheless there’s plenty to do in our gardens.

Roses are now in their prime, so keep deadheading them to keep the flowers blooming and snip off any leaves that may have mildew or blackspot in order to keep the plant healthy. Also deadhead other flowering plants in your borders such as lupins, dephiniums and campanulas to encourage repeat flowering.

A good balanced liquid feed will boost trees, shrubs, flowering borders, lawns, pot plants and hanging baskets, so give them some nourishment to keep them looking good this time of year.

If you would like some plants for free, then now is the time to take cuttings of garden shrubs such as Abeilia, Ceanothus, Choisya, Forsythia, Fuchsia, Hebe, Hibiscus, Hydrangea, Philadelphus, Spiraea and Weigela just to name a few. Always select a healthy, vigorous new shoot, leave a pair of leaves on it, then when you’ve taken the cutting, dip it in rooting hormone power to promote faster root growth. Plant it in a pot with compost and don’t forget to water thoroughly. Grow on until next spring when your cutting can be planted out into the garden.

The leaves of daffodil and tulip bulbs will now have died down and so can now be lifted if required, dried off and stored in a cool dry place for replanting in the autumn.

If your herbs are growing nicely now, you can be picking healthy young shoots. If you want to dry your herbs, then simply hang them in an airy room, free from moisture. When dry crush and store them in airtight jars or they can be chopped up and frozen in ice-cube trays.

If you planted onions earlier this year, then they should soon be ready to harvest. Bend the stems over to stop seeding and to allow maximum sunlight onto the onions. After lifting, spread them out so that they can dry off completely and you should be able to keep them for several months. Also you can still keep successional sowing of crops such as beetroot, lettuce, radish and salad onions for your summer salads.

Around this time of the year our lawns will definitely benefit from regular moving once or twice a week, but in drier weather remember not to cut it too short. Prune privet and other fast growing shrubs and keep on top of the weeding as well as digging out perennial weeds.

This time of the year certainly can be busy, however there is one thing I always tell people to make time for… and that is simply enjoying the garden and reaping the benefits of all that hard work.

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