Summer gardening

Whilst we continue to face the distinctly changeable weather of June (didn’t we just know that we would ‘pay’ for that gorgeous Spring!) there are a number of things to do in our gardens, even if you do find yourself sprinting in and out of the rain!

  • Feed your baskets, troughs and pots fortnightly with a liquid feed such as Tomorite which can be found in all good garden centres and some supermarkets.
  • Remove all greenfly from your roses by rubbing off gently with your finger tips or by spraying with a simple solution of water and washing-up liquid.
  • Trim your box plants and topiary on a dry day (here’s hoping!) and collect or burn the discarded pruning’s to prevent spread of any disease.  Pruning is quite simple and need only take 20 minutes or so:
    • For topiary, use a small pair of secateur scissors and cut back the young new shoots when they have reached 8-10cm. Cut back to 2 leaves from the base but avoid cutting into the previous year’s older growth.
    • For box hedges and edgings, trim the new growth using a pair of garden hand shears.  For the top, make sure that you keep the blades horizontal to get a level surface.  Cut back to a couple of leaves above where the current growth starts.
  • Ensure any newly planted shrubs and trees get regular watering at the base throughout the summer.
  • In the greenhouse, damp down the floors every morning and open windows and doors to prevent plants suffering from heat stress.

Planning Ahead

If you are re-developing, building an extension or lucky enough to be building your own home then consider planning ahead with a little energy efficient landscaping.

For instance, an eco-roof, or green roofing, will greatly assist insulation, reduce your carbon footprint and ensure your new development blends into the landscape.  Whilst strategic pre-planting will ensure your new interior remains cool and shady, or provide a natural extension from one living space to another.  You might like to watch this short video, primarily talking about commercial development but an interesting insight into reducing energy costs and maximising efficiencies from a landscaping perspective

For further information, please contact me on tel: 07708 643313 or email to: and I will be pleased to discuss opportunities with you and work with your builders during the advance stages of development.

What to do and where to go in July!

  • The world’s largest flower show takes place at Hampton Court between 5 – 10 July. Visit the RHS website directly for details and do take a look at their links for Wonderland of Roses or Rose of the Year 2012; new introductions of roses will be on display and can be ordered directly from the rose marquee when you visit, you’ll find the scent absolutely staggering!
  • Join the Big Butterfly Count 16 – 30 July.  Unfortunately numbers of butterflies in the UK continue to decline so, last year, David Attenborough, the President of Butterfly Conservation, launched a new project entitled the Big Butterfly Count which aims to assess the butterfly environment.  You can get involved one fine day by finding a sunny glade in a local wood or by a stream, if you don’t have a garden, and simply count any butterflies you spot for 15 minutes.  For more information visit:
  • Frithsden Vineyard Food and Drink Festival Saturday 9 July, 12 noon till 5pm.  Situated just behind the Alford Arms in Frithsden, Simon and Natalie Tooley have been producing wine here since 2006.  Enjoy free tastings, a barbeque, food and drink stalls and a vineyard trail.  There is limited parking so better to walk, and you can take your dog so long as it’s kept on a lead.  Visit  for full details.
  • Enjoy a Cream Tea at Ashridge.  The gardens at Ashridge, originally designed by Humphrey Repton in the early 19th Century, have been restored over the last ten years and are open during weekends and bank holidays until the end of September from 2 – 6pm.  The Italian Garden has been restored to its original design, as has the arbour for the Rose Garden, and a new herb garden provides fresh produce for the Ashridge chefs.  Entrance is £4.50 pp.

Regards and happy gardening to you all