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3rd June 2018

June – Top Garden Tips

JUNE – TOP GARDEN TIPS

The essence of gardening – for me as a designer its about the plants, the scents, growing vegetables and flowers, Potagers, chickens, cats, bees and fruit trees and balancing all this with the environment in which it sits. To me it is the joy of nature all growing and evolving.
But as a designer there is in theory about right place, right plant, right piece of material, but a garden is forever evolving, not singular and it doesn’t always work the first time, just not a mass of hard landscaping but a balance between nature and where you want to sit and have a cup of tea and enjoy the wafts of perfume and admire the changing seasons.  This is the essence of what it is all about.

It is also a crazy month where the last of the planting should have gone in and hasn’t the weather has warmed up and the vegetable and flower patch is running late due to the season but just no time and everything is growing fast but in amongst this, a beautiful picture is emerging, and an urgency to make my Elderflower cordial before the petals fall off.

JOBS TO DO IN THE GARDEN

  • Known as the ‘Chelsea chop’ between now and the end of the month is the time to reduce by about a third plants on late flowering perennials like sedums and phlox, which encourages stronger tougher plants, improves the growth and encourages a second flush of flowers with some perennials, but also stops plants like aquilegia dropping their seed and taking over the garden which in my case happened last year so I am on it this year.
  • Dead head roses regularly and trim back messy perennials which have flowered so they can have another go at flowering
  • Dead head and cut down iris stems and lift and divide to increase your numbers.
  • Remove flowers stems from parsley to encourage more growth as with other herbs and continue sowing
  • Prune clematis Montana now as it can become unruly and overgrown.

THE VEG PLOT

  • It’s not to late to start the veg patch the greatest advantage is that almost everything can be sown direct into warm soil so June can be a busy month.
  • Now is the time to sow outdoors all the tender crops such as the cucumbers, sweet corn, French beans, squashes, tomatoes and whatever takes your culinary desire.
  • The rhubarb can be continued to be harvested till July, strawberries require mulching with barley straw, it protects the merging fruit from it keeps them clean and off the ground.
  • Now is a good time to plant the rapidly growing lettuce plugs and the first week in June is the time to get final crop of broad beans in.  Elephant garlic can be harvested from the longest day (end of June)They can be lifted and dried which is a few weeks earlier than the regular garlic.
  • Go wild with salad , continue successive planting but when it warms too much the risk of it bolting is high so leave the next sowing till August.
  • Im about to plant out my ‘cucumbermelon’ plants so im building a hazel stucture , check out our courses running this month.
  • Continue making  Comfrey liquid fertiliser Russian comfrey (symphytum x uplandicum) with its furry leaves and purple flowers and grows to 1meter high.  Full of nitrogen and potash which makes a great liquid fertiliser.  It can be easily grown from root cuttings and leave for the first year to establish.  Harvest leaves cutting new growth when it reaches 60cm high before it flowers .  The clump can be cut 4/5 times in a season.  It takes a bucket of leaves 2 weeks to become a wonderful brown liquid , dilute 1:20 with water or check out our last Marvellous Mays blog for more information.

TOP TIP – FOR JUNE

  • Have a go at growing sweet peas and runner beans together, they both need support and regular picking…
  • 5 for the price of 1 – Supermarket basil looks great but is short lived and dies, now all you need to do is take the herb from pot and gently divide into five sections using your hands without touching the leaves or stems.Place in individual pots, top up with composite, and water.  You now have 5 new plants!

PLANT OF THE MONTH – FOR DRY SHADE

For dry shade a top plant to use is Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Ingwersens variety’  a pale pink flower with height and spread 30x60cm.  It’s hardy and vibrant and easy to grow but tough.

Geranium phaeum ‘raven’ , is another hardy plant in dry shade.  It has smoky purple flowers and bright green foliage  and forms neat mounds.  Height and spread 60 x30cm

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