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June 2015 Newsletter

It’s the peak time of year to be out in your gardens; the days are at their longest and everything is growing so fast. Be sure to keep plants well fed as well as well-watered. Your lawns will appreciate a high-nitrogen feed to encourage green growth and hungry plants like roses and clematis will really appreciate a general fertiliser feed.

This month BBC Gardeners’ World Live, featuring RHS Flower Show Birmingham opens to the public 11-14 June, a show with so much on offer for gardeners, cooks and ‘outdoorers’ in general. We’ll be there to see what’s on, so be sure you will be too.

Enjoy the summer.

Patrick Wiltshire

 

Top jobs for June

 

Plant summer hanging baskets

You might be thinking about summer barbacues and entertaining guests. If you’re opening up your well-tended garden, raise a few eyebrows with a haven of hanging baskets. Nothing like adding a dazzling display of colour and texture with patio bedding plants.

For hanging baskets you can go for instant colour like our Pre-Planted Sizzle Pink Basket for visual impact. Or create your own with colours to suit you- mix and match some of your favourite bedding plants.

When creating hanging baskets add sphagnum moss for a great spongy liner that retains moisture naturally and holds soil well. Plant in the sides of containers if possible as well as on top to create a lush cascade of flowers.

Add water-retaining gel to hold water and fertiliser to provide flowers with a good feed. For easy access to baskets, take advantage of a pulley system where you can easily and effortlessly bring down and raise up the basket.

Why not try a hanging basket of herbs? You can achieve a range of leaf and flower textures and bring the natural scent of herbs to head height.

 

Rid the lawn of dandelions and other broad-leaf weeds

It’s so annoying to have your otherwise perfectly green lawn ruined by nuisance dandelions, and they seed so readily that the problem just gets worse and worse.

Nip the problem in the bud and apply Resolva Lawn Weedkiller. Its formula selectively kills plants with leaves rather than blades, so your grass is unaffected while the dandelions and other lawn weeds perish.

Apply the weedkiller on a clear day and a day that is forecast to be dry. Rain will dilute the chemical and reapplication may be needed. Similarly, avoid windy days. If wind blows the active chemicals onto flower beds, your prize plants may suffer.

Wear protective gloves and apply at the rate suggested on the packet. Follow these instructions and once again, you’ll achieve an unblemished and lush lawn.

 

Prune back spring flowering shrubs

You’ll notice that certain shrubs in your garden put up a lovely show of flowers in spring and now it’s June, the flowers have faded and wilted.

Make sure the flowers come back next spring bigger and better by pruning shrubs like Forsythia and ornamental currants.

Just select the stems that flowered, and prune out these stems. Leave the stems that just produced leaves – as they will produce the flowers next spring.

Once you’ve done this, prune out any stems that spoil the overall shape of the shrub or stems that are dead or damaged. Apply a mulch of bulky compost or manure around the base of the plant, avoiding the trunk, and you’ll have a plant ready to flower next spring, that will be tidy, healthy and won’t be overcrowded with stems.

 

Introduce pondside plants and lilies to your pond

If you’ve got a pond and it’s ready for some colour and texture to enhance it, now’s the time to add some pond plants in and around the water.

You’ll add colour to the pond as well as fresh scent from some flowers. You also provide vital shelter for fish and other aquatic animals. Pond-cleaning snails like to lay eggs on the undersides of lilies while fish like to retreat under the leaves from midday sun and cats.

Here are some pond plant suggestions for adding to your pond.

Lovely waterlilies

Nymphaea ‘Colorado’ for vibrant salmon-pink flowers
Nymphaea ‘Almost Black’ for evocative and darkest-red of flowers
Nymphaea virginalis a lily species with the purest white of flowers
Nymphaea ‘Wanvisa’ A really exotic looking lily – pink with cream specks

Pond plants for the edge

Lythrum salicaria for tall stems of purple flower, attract insects and lovely colour
Mentha aquatica – water mint for lovely aroma, globes of purple flowers
Lobelia fulgens ‘Queen Victoria’ regal by name, regal by nature; brilliant scarlet flowers on tall imposing stems

Oxygen-encouraging plants

Lagarosiphon major – submerge in your pond, and this plant will keep it oxygenated and help to keep it clear. It provides shelter too for aquatic wildlife.
Ceratophyllum demersum – hornwort provides a dense mat of oxygenated stems; more stems for a healthier water environment
Ranunculus aqualitis – water crowfoot offers oxygenating stems as well as pretty flowers. Great for all pond sizes.

 

Cut back the stems of wisteria as the flowers fade

Wisterias offer a shower of colour in May and early June, and decorate walls and fences beautifully. The flowers get more and more bold each year too so it’s worth adding this gorgeous climber to your garden.

To get it looking at its best next year, prune the stems back after they have flowered. This will make it look tidy, get air circulating round its stems for a healthy growing environment and it will encourage more growth for next year.

Trim stems with secateurs to about six bud from where the stems start. This may seem like you are getting rid of a lot of green growth but rest assured, a good post-flower haircut will encourage the climber to grow bushier and stronger for next year.

After the trim you might want to tie in some of the remaining stems that protrude outwards. This post-flower trim is a good opportunity to cut out stems that are damaged or dead too, making your wisteria even healthier.

After the trim it’s worth adding some bulky compost or manure as a feed to the base of the plant to keep the surrounding soil full of nutrients.

 

 

Plant of the month – Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ 

Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ is a fantastic perennial to grow in your flower bed for a bright and vibrant display of red and white flowers in mid-to late summer and, if mild, well into autumn. Reaching up to 1m (3 1/3 ft), plant in the centre of your flowerbed for the best display. The leaves are scented too, and you can sometimes catch a fruity scent in the air when you’re nearby.

Plant with other mid to late summer-flowering perennials like Rudbeckia and Helenium. These are all great bee-magnets bringing your garden to life in summer.

Height: up to 1m (3 ft)

Flowering period: May to October  

 

Pest watch – Weeds

Weeds are pretty much inevitable in the summer garden. With so much sun and rain, often one following the other, it’s the perfect weather for opportunistic weeds. And there are three main reasons why weeds spell trouble;

Weeds are very wired to good survival. They either have large taproots (like dandelions) to anchor them into the ground and take up nutrients in the soil or other roots that spread successfully in the soil. Either way they’re built to stay unless you nip their growth in the bud.

They often provide perfect venues for pests to breed and lay eggs, and diseases to form and spread.

They are robust enough to take a great proportion of nutrients in the soil, and produce a dense canopy of leaves that take the limited amount of sunlight. Most significantly, they take up a fair bit of soil moisture too.

So apply a systemic weedkiller, whether you have pesky weeds in your lawn or they are cropping up in your flowerbed or veg plot. The active ingredient gets right into the ‘veins’ or the plants and transports the chemical from leaf tip to roots – a really effective means of killing weeds fast.

Be sure to apply weedkiller on a still, dry day so that the chemicals are not blown off the plants in the wind or diluted by rain. If it does rain shortly after applying weedkiller, you may need to reapply.

 

News

Visit BBC Gardeners’ World Live at Birmingham from 11-14 June where you get the opportunity to see gardening and food experts like Monty Don and Mary Berry. There’s a wealth of floral exhibits from nurseries around the UK, evocative Show Gardens and lots of inspiring things to see and do for the home and garden, all in one place at this central England show. 

And be sure to take a trip to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show from 30 June- 5July. Set by the majestic Hampton Court Palace in Surrey, this is the world’s largest annual flower show. With beautiful Show Gardens, plants to browse and buy and features located in handy zones Grow, Inspire and Feast, it’s a great mid-summer event to visit. 

Congratulations go to Burncoose Nurseries who entered Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum Kilamanjaro Sunrise (‘Jww5’) into the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year 2015. The shrub, with beautiful lace-cap flowers in spring, was selected from a short list of 20 plants which included enchanting rose Susie.  

Want instant impact for your gardens? Get our pre-planted hanging baskets like Sizzle Pink Pre-Planted Hanging Basket. Expertly grown in quality compost, enriched in plant food and containing a water-retaining gel, it leaves you to simply put up the basket and enjoy its long-lasting flowers. Or get our Buy 1 Get one free colour-theme basket and container collections – to suit your own tastes and match colours in the garden.  

There’s herbaceous perennials to suit all gardens. Some of our favourites for space-saving and glorious colour in summer include Penstemon ‘Heavenly Blue’, Monarda ‘Scorpion’, Campanula ‘Iridescent Bells’ and new and exclusive Salvia ‘Kate Glen’ with its colour-changing flowers and fresh leaves set against stems dark as night. They’re all magnets for pollinating insects and all work perfectly in the flowerbed or as focal plants in containers. Why not give them a try?  

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