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June 2016 Newsletter

Here at Unwins we’ve been spending much of our time of late visiting our nurseries, checking the young plants are all in top-notch condition before reaching you.

In fact it’s a busy time in the gardening world at large. The shows season is well underway; this month with the BBC Gardeners’ World Live in the West Midlands 16-19 June. Take time to visit the Floral Marquee with lots of flowers from nurseries around the country and the spectacular Show Gardens.

When you get back to your own garden, it’s the time of year to prune your spring-flowering shrubs and tend to your newly-planted bedding. Once bedding is starting to flower in earnest, it’s time to feed them with high-potash feed to encourage bountiful blooms.

If the weather holds, make sure you get to enjoy your flower displays in your garden or balcony, eating al fresco and enjoy a glass of something nice.



James Oakey
Head of Horticulture 

Jobs to do in June

Plant containers and baskets with summer bedding 

Such a rewarding task to do at this time of year. Once you receive your young plants from us water mornings and evenings so that the soil is moist but not waterlogged. When you have the opportunity take containers and punch/drill holes in the bottom for drainage. Fill containers three-quarters full with multi-purpose compost and place young plants around the top of the soil.

Move plants around to a design that suits you. When satisfied, fill in the gaps around the soil of the young plants. Add a top layer of decorative pebbles to finish. Water well and place in the sun.

See a video of Head of Horticulture James Oakey talking you through planting a hanging basket of your own with handy tips and advice.


Create herb containers 

Add attractive and edible containers to your displays, creating a bit of a kitchen garden. Placed in full sun Mediterranean herbs will thrive. These include rosemary, thyme and basil. If you have a spot that gets shade or semi-shade, plant up a herb container of mint, chives, coriander and parsley.

Be sure to protect herb containers from pests such as slugs and snails. They particularly like coriander so take measures to avoid damage. Pellets, copper rings and gravel are just some methods of keeping slug damage at bay.


Introduce aquatic plants to your garden pond 

Now’s an excellent time to introduce marginal plants like irises and marsh marigold to the pond side and submerge waterlilies into your pond.

Waterlilies are not only attractive with their exotic-looking blooms, they provide vital shelter for fish and amphibians for direct sunlight as well as predators like herons. The undersides of the large pads make a great breeding ground for algae-eating pond snails too.



Prune back spring flowering shrubs

It’s the perfect time to cut back spring-flowering shrubs such as ornamental currant and Forsythia. Prune back the main stems of around 1/3 of the shrub. This will encourage new leafy growth that will develop for the rest of summer and flower next spring. It also encourages more air around and within the shrub which keeps diseases at bay.

After pruning, add a ring of mulch or bulky compost around the base of the plant. This helps to replace nutrients that the shrub will have lost through pruning.



Tend to your lawn

You have an actively-growing lawn in June; mowing the lawn from spring encourages grass to send out lateral stems. This increase in lateral stems is what makes a lush, full-looking lawn. Mow twice weekly at this time of year unless it’s particularly warm and dry, in which case you should mow once weekly.

If the lawn turns brown or parched in June, water once every ten days to restore. Using a rotary sprinkler or oscillating sprinkler allows a controlled rate of water to reach the soil over an extended period of time.

Please check local watering regulations before use.


In the heart of central England you can find an oasis of calm. Situated in the centre of Birmingham you can visit this lovely botanical garden to glean inspiration on planting in your own garden and greenhouse.

Tender geraniums look lovely as a collection, especially when you grow citronella types with lemon-scented leaves along with zonal types. Plant in a sunny spot and deadhead blooms as they wither.




On the Rhododendron Walk you’ll come across rhododendrons and azaleas in all colours- yellows, corals and mauves. Grow in ericaceous soil to enjoy the beautiful blooms in your own garden.





Choose a patch of your garden for growing wildflower seeds. This attracts beneficial pollinators like bees which will stay around to pollinate fruit flowers and add animation to your garden.





Invest in plants that do well even growing in shade. This Brunnera Jack Frost reveals attractive forget-me-not-like flowers, but it’s the leaves that truly stand out. Grow with foxgloves and cow parsley.   





Plant of the month – Sweet peas

A beautiful annual climber which is the epitome of cottage gardens and summer, the sweet pea is just the flower for growing in small spaces. In fact, if you just have a balcony you can grow sweet peas in a trough container climbing up a wall.

As the flowering stems develop cut some for vases indoors to enjoy the fragrance and leave some on the plant as they encourage pollinating insects. Choose varieties of your favourite colours or choose mixes such as our Super Fragrant Mix.

TOP TIP – Pinch out the tips of young sweet peas to encourage the young plants to produce side stems. This allows plants to become compact, tidier and floriferous.

FASCINATING FACT – Sweet peas can be grown as annual climbers or indeed as perennial groundcover. Perennial sweet peas come back year after year producing less scented but equally attractive flowers as their annual relatives.

PESTS AND DISEASES – Mice are very keen on sweet pea seeds so protect against rodent-damage at sowing time. Powdery mildew may affect leaves; be sure to water sweet peas regularly as this mildew comes about in times of drought. Leaves are also a delicacy for slugs and snails, so guard against these to prevent leaf damage.



Malvern Spring Gardening Show

We visited the Malvern Spring Gardening Show in May on a warm, sunny Friday to see what was new in the gardening world and get some inspiring ideas. We loved the Show Gardens including Gold Winner Macmillan Legacy Garden and found some great plant combinations that you can try at home. Perfect pairings include Heuchera with Hosta.




BBC Gardeners’ World Live

This month sees the return of BBC Gardeners’ World Live on 16-19 June. Come along to the central-England show at the NEC and enjoy seeing the inspiring Show Gardens as well as talking to expert plant growers from nurseries based all around the country. Got a question on the perfect bedding for your garden, or how to look after a prize plant? They’ll be happy to give you some sound horticultural advice.




EcoSure Catalogue

Our Eco-Sure catalogue lands on 2nd-3rd June and is full of beautiful pond plants including waterlilies and marginals, lighting-up solutions in your garden and innovative pond features including our new free-floating pond islands and gorgeous Corinthian bowl water feature- suitable for gardens and balconies.

Check out our New and Exclusive Eco-Sure Pond Clear, a water-clear bio-treatment that works at temperatures as low as 4°C (39°F) when equivalents work only at temperatures in excess of 10°C (50°F).


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