June is bright with colour!
With days of sun, interspersed with rainy days, its great for the garden but remember to water all your plants well at this time of year on those dry days. First thing in the morning or better still last thing at night if you can. I must say this is one of my favourite months because I am all about colour in the garden and striking displays of hot red, orange, purple, pink and yellow colours!
I love hanging baskets in bloom which have had time to settle in and grow on especially if they have had a bit of a feed. As you drive around it’s great to see hanging baskets as pride of place over peoples front doors! We really go all out on hanging baskets, being an urban centre, it's such a quick way to bring instant colour to a front door or garden, especially if you only have a small space!
A much-underused group of plants are the annual climbers. They are easy to grow, don’t require much looking after, fast growing and provide a long flowering season. There are lots of varieties providing a vast range of colours and flower shapes. Annual climbers can be used to fill a large space where a feature or specimen plant has died, to quickly cover up an unsightly wall or fence, add vertical aspects to a garden, scramble over a trellis or pergola, in pots on a patio, tumbling from baskets, or my favourite use of them to scramble through spring and winter flowering shrubs.
Spring and winter flowering shrubs are fantastic for providing early colour in those dark dreary days, but they can look plain and uninteresting in the summer and if you only have a small plot, every space is precious. I like to use annual climbers to prolong the interest and colour in my garden in to late autumn and in most cases the first frosts. Shrubs like Rhododendrons, Camellias, Forsythias, Weigelias, Daphnes and many more early flowerers tend to look a bit lack lustre at this time of year. Growing some annual climbers through them gives them a second burst of colour and because they are annuals you don’t have to worry about causing any damage when it comes to pruning your shrubs, it will just cause the climbers to flower more in most cases.
The most classic annual climber used has got to be the Sweet Pea. It’s easy to grow, has beautiful scented flowers and can provide vases and vases of cut flowers for the home as well as brightening up the garden and the more you pick sweet peas the more they will reward you with flowers.
However if you are after something a little more different then they are a whole array of others to choose from. The Morning Glories (Ipomoeas) are an excellent group to choose from proving colours from deep blues to sky blues through to purples, pinks, white and crimson. There are even striped and spotted varieties now. They produce trumpet shaped flowers in the morning, fading by the afternoon, but don’t worry they produce masses of flowers over a long period and in the cooler days of autumn the flowers tend to last longer into the afternoon.
For something a bit more luminous and hotter then give Black Eyed Susans (Thunbergia) with blazing orange star shaped flowers with black centres a go. These are sure to add heat to any surface they climb up. Nasturtiums are also great climbers with flowering in hot colours ranging through yellows, oranges, reds and even burgundy. They are easy to grow and provide a great show.
If you are after a plant a little bit more on the unusual side then try Rhodochiton. It has unusual pink bell shaped flowers with a deep purple lobe emerging from the centre. A beautiful and unusual flower with striking colours that is sure to be a talking point in any garden.
For a touch of the Mediterranean grow a Bougainvillea in a pot on your patio. The papery blooms will provide colour all summer as well as giving you the feeling of being on holiday in your garden.
So go on and add another dimension in your garden and have a go at annual climbers. For very little effort they will reward you with a long season of colour and interest.
What’s looking good?
Bourgainvillea ‘Vera Deep Purple’ - An exotic newcomer that distinguishes itself through its rich and easy re-flowering. Likes lots of direct sunlight, keep out of the wind and water regularly. Really stunning!
Sunflowers – love sunlight, brighten any pot or border!
Geraniums are looking great at the moment. You can normally choose from a range. I always like to plant the bigger ones – they fill a pot nicely on their own and the flowers tend to be larger and more full and dense. Plus New Guinea Bizzy Lizzies are looking fabuous!
Celosia – an attractive plant with beautiful dense feathery spikes produced over a long period. Maximum height 30cm Spread 25cm. Flowers June to August. Great in pots and as summer bedding. Likes a sunny / part shade spot.
Oesteospurmums – a great range of colours available – look great in the border or in a pot! They stand up brightly and show off their lovely colourful petals!
Abutilon – also known as ‘Chinese Bell Flowers’ these delicate looking plants are very colourful and a little bit different for including in your summer planting scheme. They look lovely in a pot and flower all summer. They are only half hardy so will need to be brought in for the Winter. A variety of colours available.
Roses – they really start to dominate the garden with scent and fantastic blooms during June and July.
Frequently Asked Questions!
We get asked a number of questions regarding pests and diseases particularly during vegetable growing time! It’s very frustrating for us and gardeners because most chemicals have been taken off the market – especially those that really worked! So I have put together a few common questions we get asked and tried to suggest some remedies! As with all treatments chemical / organic please seek advice and always read the labels very carefully. It is very important to select the right treatments especially for edible fruit and vegetables. Feel free to bring in your leaves etc and we will always try to help identify any problems!
1) The leaves on my camellia have gone yellow, do I need to feed it? - it may well need a feed with an Ericaceous liquid or granular fertilizer but you could also use Sequestrene Plant tonic to bring back the original green colour.
2) My camellia leaves are covered in black stuff. What is it? – this has been very common over the last few months. It is sooty mould which is caused by the Scale insect. If you look closely you should be able to see very small insects which are leaving a residue that the soot then grows on. You can wipe this off quite easily once you have treated the Scale Insect. You can treat for Scale insect using Bayer Garden’s Provado Ultimate Bug killer.
3) My potted Fuchsia has suddenly flopped but it wasn’t over or under watered? – We have seen a few cases of Vine Weevil. If you dig the plant up and find it has no roots and there are little white grubs present then you have a case of Vine Weevil. They usually attack and eat the roots of soft rooted plants like Fuchsias, Pansies, Cyclamen etc. They are more commonly found in pots rather than the garden as they like softer compost not strong soil and strong shrubs! You can try using John Innes Soil Based Compost as they don’t like this and also treat with Bayer’s Provado Vine Weevil Killer.
4) I have black spots and brown powder on the leaves of my roses? – this is very common at this time of year and it is Rust and Black Spot. Black Spot is a fungus and if left untreated could cause the leaves to drop off. Remove infected leaves and treat with Rose Clear. This will also cure Rust – another fungus.
5) My cabbages are being eaten before I get to them! - well it could be caterpillars or slugs. If it is slugs try using slug pellets or copper tape. Read the instructions carefully about where to place the pellet as cabbages are edible and you should only place around the crops not actually on them! If it is Caterpillars you could use PY spray Garden Insect Killer – which protects flowers fruit and vegetables against ants, greenfly, blackfly, whitefly, thrips, caterpillars and flea beetles.
Westland have also brought out a good range of ‘Plant Rescue’ Products for Ornamentals, Fruit and Veg and for fighting Fungus! They have a very informative leaflet which identifies pests and fungus and suggests the treatments accordingly.
Things to do in June
- Lift and store your Spring bulbs for next year
- Be prepared and keep an eye out for garden pests
- Continue reguarly feeding your plants
- Check plants daily and water if the soil is dry
- Mow lawns weekly if possible
- Start watering early morning or late evening on hot days or prolongued dry weather
- Keep deadheading for more flowers
- Keep an eye out for nesting hedgehogs and don't disturb the nest if you find one
Plant of the month
Rose 'Warm Welcome’ Minature Climbing Rose
Masses of beautiful orange/red flowers continually throughout summer from the top to near bottom of the plant. Few climbers flower as abundantly as the 'Warm Welcome'. The small glossy green leaves fall in autumn and return in spring. A very hardy specimen that likes a sunny spot and well drained soil. Can be put in a pot or straight in the garden. Perfect to train over an arbour, obelisk or trellis. Remove old flowers to encourage more blooms.