Looking back, spring was pretty intensive with all that had to be done in the garden. Now you can slow down – a bit – and enjoy the profusion of flowers, colours and scents. The proud gardener will be sharing this with friends and family. To keep the display at its best, deadheading, watering and staking are necessary tasks to keep borders looking good.
“There is nothing more difficult to do in outdoor gardening than to plant a mixed border well, and to keep it in beauty throughout the summer.” Wrote Gertrude Jekyll. Pruning shrubs after flowering, weeding, staking late flowering plants that need support, spraying plants prone to infestation, and removing faded flowers, unless the seed is needed, all contribute to maintaining the display.
Keep an eye open for caterpillars, greenfly and red spider mites. If you’re still in the mood for planting why not put in some flag irises in a dry, sunny spot, for another splash of colour? Bees and butterflies will be attracted to a border planted up with achillea, Buddleia, campanula, cat mint and sedum. Make a herb garden with lavender, rosemary, thyme and oregano. Add sage, fennel and chives and put mint into pots sunk into the ground to stop it spreading everywhere. Sow annual parsley for autumn.
Lift and divide daffodil clumps that have been in the ground for some years before they go ‘blind’ and no longer flower. Dry and store the bulbs for planting in late August or September or simply replant. You can take cuttings of shrubs and herbaceous perennials for a continuous supply of young plants. There, you thought you were just going to relax. Why not? Admire your work.
- Propagate pinks and carnations from cuttings
- Cut back lavender
- Mulch around plants after rain – a bark mulch is a good weed deterrent
- Plant autumn crocuses, colchicums, Madonna lilies
- Harvest flowers for drying
- Cut back helianthemums
- Summer prune bush and standard roses after the first flush or flowers are over
- Prick out perennials and biennials sown in early June
- Start to feed chrysanthemums in late July
- Take cuttings of penstemons, helianthemums and shrubby alpines