What a joyful month June is! June’s warm sunshine seems to infuse every fibre of our beings, imbuing our souls with a feeling of uplifting bliss that can only be found outdoors. June also brings us the gift of sweet summer rain to refresh our plants, and with it the excitement of a great many wonderful growing opportunities in the garden; it’s hard to beat this time of year!
I just love growing sweet peas! I love to be enveloped by the sweet pea flower’s powerful and sensuous scent, while I’m encompassed by the flower’s beauty and charm. Eternal bliss! Everyone should have at least a few moments of pause and reflection, to recharge with their favourite sweet pea blooms each and every summer.
If you’re looking to plant up containers to bring an immediate dose of cheer to your garden, varieties of pansies and violas, purchased in flower from your local nursery, in your favourite colours, will brighten your garden. With regular deadheading they, will flower from now until summer arrives.
If you’re looking ahead to the summer and you’re keen on bedding plants, this is a great time to sow seeds of Lobelia, Antirrhinums, and Pelargoniums, in the warmth indoors.
As autumn turns to winter, days shorten and the prospect of warming ourselves by the fire may be more enticing than being outdoors, take time to warm your heart with thoughts of elegantly perfumed roses. This is the perfect opportunity to order roses as bare root plants to plant during the winter time, while the plants are dormant, to deliver charming, beautiful rose blooms and delectable fragrance to your garden or allotment next summer.
I am particularly fond of scented daffodils; last year I conducted a Scented Daffodil Trial, to showcase beautiful and enchanting daffodil cultivars, which produce exquisitely fragrant, long lasting flowers.
I’ve been looking forward to sharing the finest performing daffodil cultivars from my 2017 Scented Daffodil Trial with you, and as September is a great month to plant daffodil bulbs, this column offered me the perfect opportunity.
Containers filled with your favourite coloured flowering plants can bring so much joy to you, and to the bees and butterflies in your garden.
Beautifully scented plants are always top of my list. The dwarf, compact, lavender cultivars, known as Lavandula angustifolia, are such lovely options for containers in a sunny spot, where their calming, soothing fragrance can be welcomed and enjoyed by all.
The weather in May can take us by surprise – we might be basking in the heat of the sun, or we are equally as likely to be jolted, shocked, and stopped in our tracks, as we turn to grab our coats to protect us during periods of rather bleak, chilly weather. It’s the same for our plants – they won’t enjoy a check in their growth if inclement weather strikes, so take care to protect any tender plants in your care this month.
I’d like to introduce you to some of my favourite cut flowers; these beautiful, easy to grow flowers, don’t require any cosseting. You can sow these flowers from seed this month, directly where they are to flower, so there’s no messing about with potting seedlings on, and no need for a greenhouse or any special kit or equipment.
There are so many fabulous varieties of Nigella available.
For many gardeners, the slug and snail population seemed to explode in 2016, with many fraught and distressed gardeners asking for my advice on the best way to protect their plants from slugs and snails. I am strongly opposed to slug pellets. I wouldn’t wish to kill any of the slugs or snails in my garden, as I believe a healthy eco system is important.
Each season is so distinct, yet so very special, offering us various gifts and opportunities until the moment has passed and the next season arrives with its offerings. November might seem like a quiet period in the garden, but this month offers us the valuable chance to move any plants that aren’t growing well, or indeed any that have grown rather too well and have now outgrown their current situation.