Keeping your flower garden looking picture perfect may not always be a bed of roses, but with a few small tweaks to your maintenance routine, your bed of roses might just look the best it ever has…
There are few joys in life that compare with afternoon tea enjoyed in a lush, green garden, surrounded by birds, butterflies, and big, beautiful blooms. But getting that colourful, healthy, abundant look in your flower beds takes planning, maintenance, and, in summer, lots and lots of water.
With plants flowering at different rates (and lawns seemingly growing before our very eyes), there is plenty to do in the garden in the summer months - and it pays to have a routine, whether or not you stick to it one hundred percent of the time.
Here we share our tips to help you design, create and maintain gorgeous flower beds that keep on serving colour and scent right into autumn.
We know that the saying, “Early to bed, early to rise” is appropriate for when we want to get to the gym before work, but did you know it also applies to your flower beds and containers? Hit the garden centre to get your new babies in early summer (May through June) and again in early autumn (August through September). This will ensure you get the maximum enjoyment from them throughout the season.
Whether you’re reading this ahead of August, or are just desperate to get some colour in the ground right now, flower beds are the best place to unleash your creativity in the garden. Petunias, pelargoniums, pansies and the like are easy to grow and easy to care for, and often sold in packs together at the garden centre. But who said you had to keep things simple? While it’s true that uncomplicated designs can often have more of an impact, we encourage you to express your individuality through your favourite colours and plants, experimenting with different textures and heights to create your own Wonderland. Let your imagination run wild - literally!
Anything goes, but, as always, make sure the varieties you have chosen are suitable for the level of sun/shade they get, and the type of soil you have in your garden. Hydrangea, viburnum and pulmonaria work beautifully in clay soil, while buddleja, lavandula and geraniums are perfect where sand is present. Our top tip? Plant several plants of one variety together to create a block of colour - busy lizzies are amazing for this, and they are similar to fuschias in that they thrive in the shade! Elsewhere, dahlias are fantastic late bloomers and will look pretty going into late summer and autumn.
Now the fun part is out of the way, it’s time for the tricky part - maintenance.
It’s not exactly a secret that you need to water your plants in the summer, but there is some confusion around how much and when. Whether your plants come from the greenhouse or the garden centre, it’s important that you give them a good drenching before getting them in the ground, submerging the entire pot for a couple of minutes, soaking until all the air bubbles have escaped. Drain and plant. Then it’s simply a case of making sure you water once a day, perhaps twice during a heatwave. Water quickly evaporates from leaves and soil in the sun. Even during a downpour, it may surprise you how little moisture actually makes it to your soil - your plants form a little umbrella that causes water to bounce away. Evenings are best for watering with an extra blast in the early morning when the weather is very hot and dry. No rules beat actually listening to your plants. Take a good look at them every day, feel the soil around them; chances are, you’ll be able to see when they need a drink.
Deadheading your plants regularly is also very important, go in once a week with your tool - or just snip those brown bits off whenever you spot them.
Adding a good organic feed to your plants before they go in the ground - and in their water roughly once every two weeks - is one of the best things you can do to keep your plants on the right side of the bed.
Our All-Purpose Liquid Growth Concentrate helps defend gardens against stresses like drought. Plants need carbon and oxygen from the air, hydrogen from water and nitrogen from the soil to synthesise the essential amino acids they need to thrive. Where conditions are less than ideal, they struggle. Safe and gentle on gardens, pets, children and wildlife, our All-Purpose Liquid Growth Stimulant contains a ready-to-use supply of all 18 amino acids and peptides required for healthy growth and development – helping plants grow up big and strong, even during a particularly dry spring.
Stay tuned for more summer tips brought to you by our gardening experts.