Summer Tips And Advice

July is the season of high summer and the garden comes alive during hot lazy afternoons to the sound of bees buzzing

• Remove the faded flowers from annuals and perennials as soon as they are over. This will encourage them to flower again.

• Keep an eye out for blackspot and mildew on roses but, if you are going to spray them, try to spray your roses during the evening,when most insect activity has ceased.

• Those shrubs that flowered in June such as Philadelphus, Deutzia and Weigela, should now be pruned by removing a percentage of the flowering wood down to strong new shoots.

Compost all your waste plant material. Place lawn mowings, plant stems, haulms, flower-heads, and kitchen waste in an open-ended compost box or bin, keep it nicely moist, and treated with a compost activator, to rot, and provide manure for future use.

This is the ideal month in which to take cuttings of your plants. Start with some easy subjects such as Fuchsia, Pelargoniums, Weigelia, Hydrangea, Ceanothus and other early flowering shrubs. These do well in pots and should all root in a couple of weeks, giving you extra plants to pot up for planting next Spring.

Plant of the Month

Penstemon Garnet

Penstemon

Penstemon ‘Garnet’ is the hardiest of the penstemons. The brilliant scarlet trumpet flowers continue all summer and into the autumn. The height is approximately 90 cm.

This plant will grow in any reasonable well drained soil in full sun. It will grow best in a sheltered sunny spot.

‘Garnet’ complements any vibrant colour scheme, try planting alongside Rudbeckia Goldsturm.

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