So, June has arrived
"My biggest tip for June is to enjoy the fruits of your labour and relax, as mowing and deadheading should be the order of the day."
So, June has arrived, the sun is shining and the birds are chirping, but I still have a black cloud looming over me. Why, you might be thinking? Well, I feel like I need to come clean in order for me to enjoy this sunshine, so here goes... I told you all a porky pie! Ok, I may be being a little dramatic here; it’s not really a lie – but I did say in May that I was going to tell you all about Chelsea Flower Show. However, as of writing this feature, the show hasn’t happened yet, so if I was attempting to write such an article, I think I’d find it quite difficult. I am going tomorrow morning, though, so I will make sure you get the full lowdown next month, and in order to make it up to you, I’m having a small competition…
Would you like a free gardening consultation with yours truly and two of my very best guys at Me My Spade & I, in your garden, for a whole day, for free? The prize is worth £420, so you’d be mad not to.
To win this prize, simply send pictures of your garden to firstname.lastname@example.org, or alternatively tweet or Instagram DM me @MeMySpadeAndI. We will then decide our favourite garden and contact you for your prize. I am very excited to see our readers’ gardens, and this will be great fun and a good way of making up for my self-confessed porkies!
Now, June is looking fabulous in the gardens we look after...
All the garden work has been completed throughout the winter and spring is paying off, colour surrounds us and fragrance fills the air. My biggest tip for June is to enjoy the fruits of your labour and relax, as mowing and deadheading should be the order of the day.
The best part of this time of year is simply seeing all the lovely flowers in abundance – all the colours, sizes, shapes and fragrances. The only thing that tops it, in my opinion, is the wildlife. I have many bird feeders, and I love to watch the small birds work out how to the get the seeds from the feeder, whilst the fat pigeons minesweep the floor.
Bee-friendly plants, such as Achillea, Digitalis, Echinacea and Nepeta are coming in to their own at this time of year. If you are wondering what you can plant in an empty spot of soil then I would encourage one of these – we need to look after our bees, because as we all know, it would be a very different, very difficult world without them. How would the plants pollinate themselves if it weren’t for the hard little workers like the good old black and yellow garden friend? Please keep the bee in mind, and plant for them!
Jobs for June…
1. You can now cut back winter Aconites, Snowdrops and Daffodils – leaving them for so long means that all the goodness in the plant has time to revert back to the bulb; this feeds the plant and helps you get the best out of it the following year. For me (my spade and I…), this is a must do.
2. At this time of year, watering is essential, and you must water at the right time. I love to get home after a hard day’s work in the gardens, kick off my boots and get the sprinkler out. Granted, I may have a beer in hand, but this is not so essential – my point is that watering at this time in the evening means it won’t evaporate into the heat of the day. Water late and help get the best out of the plants during the days. I also like to use water butts – saving all rainfall is as important as the watering process itself.
3. Deadheading is possibly one of the most enjoyable jobs in the garden, and whilst the sprinkler is buzzing away in the background I like to mill through the flowerbeds deadheading wherever needed. Deadheading plants such as roses will give you more and more flowers throughout the year, so don’t be afraid to remove two to three inches below the dead flower – this will stop the plant from getting too big.
4. Weed, weed, weed. As May comes to an end and June begins, the plants will have put on an extraordinary amount of growth, and so will the weeds! Hopefully, you will have followed my last few months’ worth of articles so the weeds won’t be causing you too much trouble. Weeding tends to be a repetitive theme with the rain showers and heat of May, and the weeds will want to grow quickly alongside the flowers, so I like to put in a huge effort at the start of the year to weed as much as possible. This will make the tedious job of weeding that little bit better, as the hard work is already done, and then you can spot weeds as they appear, and with a little luck you’ll be able to get through the garden very quickly.
5. Geraniums. Whilst you’re in the beds working away on the weeding, I would advise you look at your geraniums. This is where you need to be brave – although your geraniums will be full of greenery and life, the flowers may be “over”. This means that they may have gone past their best and are now in decline, and from here on they will only get worse, so be brave and cut them back. By “cut them back”, I mean cut them back to the floor – by doing so you will encourage the plant to regrow and produce a second flush of flowers.
6. Mow weekly. By now, the lawn will be in full flow and will be growing very quickly. In some gardens I mow twice a week, but I know that this is a luxury for those with a lot of time on their hands, so just try to cut the lawn on as regular a basis as possible. Lawns can have a vicious cycle – the grass gets long, you miss a week, and then it takes longer to cut next time round. This can feel like a chore, but without this little bit of work the cycle can get worse and moss and weeds might begin to take over So, mow weekly and take preventative measures to making your gardening life as easy as possible.
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