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July 2016 Newsletter
This month we have a double-whammy of RHS Shows at Hampton Court Palace and Tatton Park. One located in the south, one in the North; both highlighting the beautiful mid- to late-summer flowers that you can grow and enjoy in your own garden.
In your own garden keep on top of the watering. Weeding, too, is high-priority to keep your prize flowers at optimum growth and not having to compete with weeds on light, water and nutrients.
Containers and hanging baskets dry out more quickly than flowerbeds so be particularly vigilant here. Most important, enjoy the weather at this lovely time of year when your garden really comes into its own.
Enjoy the summer
Jobs to do in July
Want to extend the flowering-season for as long as you can? Removing the spent flowers is a good way of letting the plant know it needs to produce more flowers– and not to put its energy into producing rose-hips instead.
With secateurs or micro-snips, snip off the flowers of roses just below the green swelling directly under the petals. For other flowers like annual bedding, simply nip petals off with your finger and thumb.
If you want your hanging baskets to keep flowering and put on a beautiful display all summer long, make sure you water regularly and well and apply a high-potassium feed like tomato food to get an abundance of blooms, and have them looking at their fullest and most decadent.
On holiday this month? Take away the dilemma of un-watered baskets and invest in a self-watering spike. Insert this in pots and baskets and the control-release spike, waters the plant automatically as the temperature rises and stops when the ambient temperature cools. You can add soluble plant food to the solution too so the hanging baskets get food as well as water.
For a lush green lawn that wouldn’t look out of place at a croquet tournament, you need to feed it the right nutrients at the right time of year. In autumn you give it a high phosphorous feed to address and the grass roots, for growth and development over winter. In summer, you want to encourage fresh new growth of grass blades. Treat your lawn with a high-nitrogen feed. The nitrogen promotes fresh young growth which creates the attractive lawn you’re after.
Keep the lawn mown too, preferably twice a week. Regular cutting encourages the leaf blades of grass to branch, which contributes to a fuller and thicker lawn.
You may have noticed that your pondwater has become cloudy and green over the last couple of months. This is due to a build-up in algae which blooms rapidly in sunlight.
Keep your pondwater clear with biological treatment Envii Ecosure Pond Clear. Our The NEW and EXCLUSIVE EcoSure Pond Clear by Envii offers a simpler approach to pond cleaning to guarantee that your pond water is clearer for longer. our NEW and EXCLUSIVE EcoSure Pond Clear by Envii introduces beneficial microbes into your pond that work to leave your pond crystal-clear.
If you’re growing fruit and vegetables in containers in your garden keep an eye open for pests such as slugs. They love crops as much as you do. Treat the area with slug pellets or top dress the area with shingle or decorative stones which they are less keen to travel over.
When harvesting your crops such as salads or root vegetables top-up the soil to keep the nutrient levels high for the developing crops. Feed leafy crops like salads with high nitrogen fertiliser and root crops like radish with a balanced fertiliser.
This year’s show highlighted the enormous influence of container gardening and just how many plants thrive when grown in a container.
Containers are great for patios and balconies, keeping large plants in proportion and for moving plants around to maximise sunlight and create different displays.
Here are some of our favourites; these really highlight the versatility of container planting.
Water plants in containers
Osteospermums in woven containers
Alpine plants in containers
Osteospermums, otherwise called Cape marigolds, offer the gardener something really special; the plants are guaranteed to liven up summer beds, borders and containers. From simple daisy flowers in bright or pastel colours to truly spectacular blooms with quilled petals these plants are no shrinking violets!
TOP TIP – Grow half-hardy perennial Osteospermum flowers in containers. They are easier to move to warm spots in summer and to a light, frost-free location in winter.
FASCINATING FACT – Watch the petals open and close throughout the day depending on the daylight and position of the sun. This is typical of photo-sensitive plants that thrive in Mediterranean conditions.
PESTS AND DISEASES – Watch out for aphids. If present introduce ladybirds into the garden – their natural predators. Osteospermums are susceptible to verticillium wilt disease which spreads from surrounding weeds. Prevent disease attacks by keeping the area weed-free.
A summer season of shows
In June we visited Gardeners World Live and gleaned lots of inspiration from this central-England show. See the container displays featuring at the show in our gallery above.
In July treat yourself to a day out at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 5-10 July and RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 20-24 July. Both shows show off the best of mid to late-summer flowers and gorgeous Show Gardens which offer ideas you can take home.
Beautiful bouquets available now from Unwins
Take a look at our NEW mail-order, hand-arranged bouquets. If you really want to impress someone, then the Unwins NEW CUT FLOWER BOUQUET range is just for you! Take a look at our range:
- Sweet William Flower Bouquet
- Vibrant Lilies Bouquet
- British Scented Stocks and Iris Bouquet
- Classic Rose and Oriental Lily Bouquet (pictured)
- Cape Flora Protea and Luxury Rose Bouquet
FRAMBERRY – the new kid on the block!
Behold this intriguing fruit!! A strawberry that produces raspberry-aroma fruit. It’s the NEW easy-grow soft-fruit that you can plant in containers or baskets and get lots of harvests in June and July. Try sun-ripe framberries fresh from the plant or add to summer-fruit compotes for delicious desserts.
The tall slim habit of framberry plants mean that it’s great to plant in tight spaces or in centre of a container filled with excellent edibles like herbs and cut-and–come again salads.