Summer garden maintenance – What to do:
The British summer is not always kind to the garden, and extra care needs to be taken to ensure it is kept looking good and full of interest throughout the warmer months whatever the weather. To complete the look of your garden and enjoy the space you have toiled so hard to create you will need some garden furniture to relax in after the hard work is finished.
Which plants to use
For a late-summer flowering garden, dahlias are a great choice. They are easy to grow and will create a wide spread of flowers when they bloom, lasting for months. If possible, dedicate an entire area to dahlias.
If you want to add a bit of height to your beds, plant verbena bonariensis. It grows tall and looks very elegant, especially mixed with Gaura linheimeri. It flowers from August to October.
Hydrangeas provide a rich and full addition to the garden, with their large mop-heads of dark red, which deepen to a plum or purple colour through the season. The leaves of hydrangeas are also tinged with red, this too deepening with the passing of the months. These easy to grow plants are also available in other flower colours.
A good choice with additional environmental benefits is Echinacea. They are very fashionable at the moment, and come in a lot of new and different colours. They will flower in late summer and last through the autumn. They are also full of nectar and pollen, thereby encouraging the poor suffering bees to visit your garden.
Feeding your garden
It is essential that once the garden has been planted it is kept watered if there is little or no rain. Too little water and the plants will not be able to survive. Too much water, and the plants can rot or become prone to disease.
As a rule of thumb, if the soil is dry to around half an inch down, then water is needed. Watering once a week should be sufficient if temperatures are in the mid-20s Celsius. For temperatures higher than this, it might be as often as every other day. Aim a watering can or hose to the base of the plants, although if it is exceptionally hot, a light sprinkling over the leaves will do no harm. The optimum time for watering the garden is in the morning, the worst late at night, however, it is always best to water at whatever time you can manage, rather than not at all.
Of course, pretty plants alone will not make the garden attractive. Weeds are going to pop up between the plants and these will need to be pulled out regularly. If left, they will use up the resources the plants need to survive. Safe chemical weed killers are easy to apply and take the hard work out of weeding.
The lawn will probably need mowing on a weekly basis and try to keep the height of the grass to about 1 inch. In very hot weather, it is advisable to reduce the amount of mowing and allow it to grow a little more, to avoid over-stressing the grass. It will also need to be watered, in just the same way and just as regularly as the other plants.
For extra advice call Chris Thornton: 07795255523