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August 2016 Newsletter

Welcome to August. It’s been a warm July this year so you may have noticed that your plants have felt the heat. Granted there has been storms too – so all in all, your plants have experienced pretty ideal conditions. 

Weeding is high this year on the gardener’s jobs to do as the combination of sun and rain means plants are growing at a rapid rate. 

Have you managed to get out to the garden shows this year?- Tatton and Hampton Court Palace were a success – again, on account of the weather as well as fantastic plants and gardens. 

This month the RHS Gardens are putting on shows (see below) so take a trip if not on your own garden to get great gardening and planting ideas. 

Enjoy the summer weather 

James Oakey
Head of Horticulture 

Jobs to do in August

Sow seeds now for ornamentals next year

Take advantage of planning ahead and get some really strong, robust and hardy annuals and perennials flowering in your garden next year.

You can still sow now, and if you do small leafy plants will emerge this autumn. They’ll then put down a good network of healthy roots over winter so that in spring next year they’ll be primed to develop and flower, firing on all cylinders.

Annuals to sow now include;

Brompton stocks, wallflowers, pansies, teasels and ornamental kale.

Perennials to sow now include;

Agastache, aquilegia, candytuft, delphinium, eryngium, gaillardia, lupins, everlasting sweet pea and ox-eye daisies.


Prune early summer flowering shrubs

Now’s a great time to prune summer-flowering shrubs like weigela, deutzia and mock orange (Philadelphus). Now that the flowers have finished their summer display, prune them to keep the plant well-aired and elegant-looking.

Prune flowering branches back to healthy young leafy stems. Once you’ve removed all the flowering branches, prune any other stems to create a balanced framework. All the leafy stems will mature for the rest of this year to produce next year’s flowers. Use anvil secateurs for woody stems and bypass secateurs for softer, green stems.

Water and add some bulky compost or manure equivalent to the soil around the plant to top up nutrients. 


Create bouquets from your garden flowers

There are few things more satisfying than bringing flowers grown in your garden to add colour, fragrance and texture into the house.

Cut flowers with your pruning snippers for vases indoors, making sure the snippers are clean and sharp. Perennials and summer bulbs that make great cut flowers include; Lilies, Rudbeckias, Sea hollies, Achillea, Nicotiana, and Salvia.

In separate vases, cut stems of sweet peas; the fragrance is sublime and they look charming in vases.

By cutting some of the flowers in your garden, you’ll be encouraging plants to produce more blooms in the garden, for the rest of the summer and sometimes well into autumn.


Mow and feed lawns regularly

You may have noticed that your lawn has succumbed to long-term drought. Despite the frequent showers, much of the rainwater doesn’t get deep into the soil, as it evaporates when the sun comes out again.

Fear not, grass is relatively resilient and with a bit of a helping hand you can keep your lawn lush in the long run.

Mow regularly, but if you can, adjust the setting of the lawnmower so that it trims the grass rather than cuts it short to the ground. This will lessen the stress put onto the leaf blades.

Feed the grass in summer with a feed high in nitrogen so that you encourage fresh new green growth.

Treat the lawn to a dual feed and weedkiller; the less weeds there are in the lawn, the less the surrounding grass has to compete for food and water.


Check your pond, especially during hot periods

You may have noticed that during high summer your pond needs filling up. Fill the pond up in the evening and check to see how much the water-level falls, the following morning.

If it has fallen significantly, you may have a leak. If your pond is lined (rather than a mould) have a look around the edges for punctures or holes (look for air bubbles, especially at the surface.)

Now is a great time for applying a biological treatment, for an on-going clear pond. Prevention is better than cure. So add Eco-Sure Pond-clear, now while the water is warm from summer. This will build up a bank of beneficial bacteria that will act to prevent algae from building up in the long-term.

Clearing ponds not only improves the overall look, it helps create a healthier more oxygen-rich environment for fish and other pond life.


Stormy weather –protect against winds (staking)

August is the time of year we often see some dramatic storms, especially after periods of high temperature. These can sometimes be hailstorms and, with added gales, can really damage the stems of your tall perennials and summer bulbs like lilies and heleniums.

Often perennials will right themselves after a battering from summer storms, but you might want to assist them with some staking to get them back on the path of recovery quicker.



Cut back delphiniums

You can cut back the tall stems of delphiniums once they have flowered and they may put up a second spike of flowers again this year. Plants that do this are know as ‘remontant’, and these plants are great to have in your garden for flower power throughout the year. 






Monitor your watering

You may be experiencing a lot of rain in your part of the country - there was certainly a fair bit in July! Even so, this rain may not be getting right down to the roots.

Choose a small patch of soil, take a spade and dig to about 20cm (8in). If the soil is dry towards the bottom, you’ll want to keep up with daily watering. If it’s moist all the way down, the flowers will be getting enough water from the rain.    

Plants are much more receptive to watering if it is consistent. Watering in the mornings and evenings for your container plants and baskets. This means that more water gets to the roots instead of the water evaporating in the midday sun.

Water your flower beds either morning or evening, whichever suits – but try to keep to this routine. These plants can access soil water easier than container plants so a good watering once a day will be sufficient.


Unwins visits…

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

July was a fantastic month and time of year to show off the flowers and gardens of the top designers and experts of the flowers shows of Hampton and Tatton Park. The sun really brought those flowers to life! 

Seating and summer perennials go hand in hand

Shade-loving garden flowers, great planted by a pond

Bold Hemerocallis- blooms will keep coming day after day

Dahlia drama- a spectacular display in the Floral Marquee at Hampton.

Gorgeous late summer flower display at Tatton Park Flower Show

Roses to celebrate – here Rose Happy Golden Wedding

Get vibrant and vivacious with our VegTrug Poppy range 

When the weather is fair there’s nothing nicer than being outdoors, eating al fresco with friends and
family surrounded by glorious flowers in containers, hanging baskets and flowerbeds.

If you want to plant up a range of vegetables, soft fruit and flowers in your garden or balcony, invest in our Poppy range planters in vibrant and vivid colours to make your outdoor space even brighter and more inviting this summer.

These VegTrug ‘Poppy’ planters are strong and durable. Made from lightweight powder-coated steel with a replaceable preformed liner the VegTrug ‘Poppy’ comes in a choice of colours and folds away when not in use.

Perfect for growing flowers, salads or even vegetables; use it anywhere where space is tight. Ideal for balcony gardens, or inside the greenhouse for a supply of home grown winter salads. It holds 33 litres of soil, so deep enough for root vegetables or bulbs.



Unwins exhibits at the Royal Norfolk Show - a hatrick of awards

Unwins was thrilled to exhibit at the Royal Norfolk Show this year in late June, selling seeds and plants to the visitors who faced mixed weather on the first day though a fairer day on the second. The weather didn’t affect moods though and the show was buzzing with activity and enthusiasm for the whole show. 

Unwins joined forces with Thistlefield Garden Design, producing a garden that celebrated a hatrick – Gold Medal, Best in Show and People’s Choice Award. Not a bad day’s work!!

Visit the RHS Hyde Hall Flower Show 4-7 August

The East-Anglia based RHS Garden is hosting its annual Flower Show to continue the summer-show season. There’ll be a wealth of specialist nurseries and loads of late-summer flowers, with some for sale. 

RHS Garden Hyde Hall staff are on hand to offer expert gardening advice, along with the exhibiting nurseries. Mini show gardens will offer you inspiring ideas to take home and there’ll be food and drink for you to refresh throughout the day.

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