Midsummer, and gardens are awash with colour
There is always plenty of work to be done, but make the most of the long summer evenings, relax and enjoy the fruits of your labours earlier in the year. At this time of year, gardens are not only full of colour, but the scent of flowers such as roses and sweet pea fill the air, especially towards the end of the day. It’s the perfect time for an impromptu evening party or taking a stroll round some of the many Oxfordshire gardens that are open for charity. Details can be found on the National Garden Scheme; there are lots of local hidden gems full of inspiration.
Make sure the birds have enough water during spells of dry weather, and be sure to keep new and young plants well watered all through the summer. Plants in containers are particularly susceptible to drought, so give them plenty of water (hanging baskets may require watering twice a day) and fed with a suitable plant food once every two weeks.
Plan for holidays:
Plan for holidays, particularly if you have a newly planted garden. Ask a kind neighbour to do the watering for you while you are away so you don’t come back to a sea of dead plants.
Pests and diseases:
With warm weather pests and diseases can rapidly become a problem. There are various sprays available from garden centres to deal with infestations but the best way is to build up biodiversity in the garden by planting a variety of species. This way you will attract beneficial insects and other wildlife, the aim being to have a healthy balance between your friends and foes.
This is a good month to trim conifer hedges to keep them under control. Conifer hedges have received a bad press recently, mainly because of the notorious Leyland Cypress. It can grow very tall very quickly and is too vigorous for a small garden; if neglected it can quickly become a nuisance. As with all conifer hedges it needs trimming at least once a year, preferably twice to keep them in check. If you start doing this while they are small, long before they reach the height and width you eventually require, you will have built up a good thick layer of leafy growth over the surface of the hedge.