We tend to view June, July and August as the months where you truly enjoy your garden. It is time to relax a little and enjoy your work. Keep the garden ticking over.
Remove Spring bedding. Put summer bedding in but make sure all danger of frost has passed. Summer bedding is a great way to add additional colour in the garden and fill those gaps.
Annuals are also a good way of adding colour into the garden. I love using varieties of Cosmos, Eschscholzia californica, Zinnia, Cleome and Nigella. These are also good if you are into cut flowers.
Temperatures will be increasing and the weather will be getting warmer. Give your borders a good drench and then mulch so that the moisture levels are maintained in the soil. Good summer bedding are zonal geraniums and begonias. They are very good value for money. Regular dead heading will keep them in flower until the first frosts. They are also more drought tolerant.
Increase the watering of newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials. If frosts have passed move your exotic plants out of the greenhouse into a sheltered spot.
Weeding now becomes a regular task. Hand weed or hoe and remove weeds whilst they are small. Perennial weeds should be dug out, making sure all the root comes out.
Cut down any leaves of spring bulbs.
The weather is very warm now so keep an eye on your new plants and be sure to water them as and when they require it.
PESTS & DISEASES:
As the weather gets warmer problems with pests and diseases increases. However, before reaching for chemicals try natural ways of prevention. Keep your garden clean, try and encourage beneficial wildlife into your garden such as birds, frogs and ladybirds.
If you are using chemical controls bear in mind that these can do beneficial insects harm too. Try and spray these in the evening when there are few beneficial insects around.
When planting allow the plants to breath. Don’t pack the plants in very tightly as this will also encourage pests and disease to multiply. By leaving some breathing space between plants, not only does this allow air to get through, it also allows the beneficial wildlife to get in among the plants to feed on those horrible critters you do not want in your garden. As roses thrive so do the aphids. Encourage lady birds and hover fly larvae into the garden as they will feast on them. Frogs in the garden help to control snails and slugs.
If you have a greenhouse increase the humidity inside by dampening down as it will prevent red spider mite.
You should be mowing your lawn at least once or twice a week now. Giving the lawn a light clip keep it healthy. Don’t always mow in the same direction. If you do this the grass ends up growing in that direction and then the mower will not cut the grass properly.
If it is very dry and the lawn has gone a bit yellow then do not cut so often and set the mower on a slightly higher setting. You do not want to scalp the lawn. Edging the lawn will give you a nice, sharp edge and make the garden look neat and tidy.
If your lawn is looking tired, try giving it a liquid feed to perk it up. These are mixed in water (follow the instructions on the bottle) and can be applied with a watering can or a sprayer. For the time of year, they are better than the granular fertilizers as there is probably less rain.
If you have laid any new turf or carried out a lawn repair make sure it is getting well-watered. Do not allow the turf to dry out as the edges will curl and you will never get them back again.
Large flowering Clematis like Nelly Moser, The President or Snow Queen(Group 2) should be pruned after the first flush of flowering. Prune back some stems to the largest set of buds or strong side shoots immediately below the bloom.
Clematis montana is a rampant climber. If it is looking very untidy then thin back to where you feel it fits into the space.
It’s a good time to work on mature deciduous shrubs. Take out any dead or damaged wood, then remove 1 in 3 stems low down. Work on removing the oldest ones first. After pruning feed and mulch.
Remove any suckers on roses. Also keep dead heading not just roses but all flowering plants. This will not only keep the borders tidy but it will encourage more flowers.
Tidy up hellebores by cutting off old leaves.
Deadhead Camellias and Rhododendrons to increase buds for the following year.
If the flowers on your hardy Geraniums have died back, trim back hard with a pair of shears and they will soon revive with new leaves and possibly even a second flush of flowers.
This is also the time of year that you can start sewing annuals for your Spring show next year.
RUNWAY PLANTS FOR AUGUST
Laburnum x watereri ‘Vossi’
Abelia x grandiflora
Cistus x cyprius
Cistus ‘Silver Pink’
Fucshia magellanica ‘Alba’
Fucshia ‘Mrs Popple’
Hebe ‘Red Edge’
Helianthemum ‘Wisley Pink’
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Diamant Rouge’
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Vanille Fraise’
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Munstead’
Lavandula x intermedia ‘Grosso’
Clematis ‘Rouge Cardinal’
Jasminum x stephanense
Jasminum officinale ‘Clotted Cream’
Lonicera x heckrottii ‘Gold Flame’
Rosa ‘ Climbing Cecile Brunner’
Rosa ‘Climbing Iceberg’
Rosa ‘Paul’s Scarlet Climber’
Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’
Achillea millefolium ‘Lilac Beauty’
Achillea ‘Summer Wine’
Achillea ‘Walter Funcke’
Aconitum ‘Blue Steel’
Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’
Astrantia ‘Hadspen Blood’
Digitalis ‘Glory of Roundway’
Fucshia ‘Lady in Black’
Hemerocallis ‘Pink Damask’
Lupinus ‘The Page’
Verbena bonariensis ‘Lollipop’
Verbena hastate ‘Rosea’
Cleome ‘Violet Queen’
Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Dazzler’
Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Purity’