It’s mid-summer and the garden is now at its most colourful.
The frantic rush of exuberant growth has passed and garden plants are showing off their glorious foliage textures and flower displays, filling borders and patio containers with colour and fragrance.
Here, Louise Golden, resident plant expert at Dobbies Garden Centre, gives her top tips to keep the garden looking good in July.
Cut back herbaceous plants, such as delphinium, lupin and hardy geraniums after their first flush of flower. This will encourage fresh new growth and further blooms, and don’t forget to feed and mulch for an added boost. In store we have an extensive range of quality British grown cottage garden plants perfect for extended the season of colour to existing or newly created borders.
Dead-head roses to encourage repeat flowering. Feed with rose fertiliser and add a layer of mulch for an extra boost to support strong growth and a second display. Leave shrub rose varieties renowned for their attractive hips which add interest to the winter garden.
See us in store at your local Dobbies and look online at Dobbies.com for a wide range of quality British grown plants, including highly recommended David Austin Roses for exuberant flowering, fragrance and excellent garden performance or charming patio roses perfect for patio pots on the terrace.
Warm summer evenings are the perfect opportunity for entertaining in the garden. Fill patio containers with a selection of vibrant bedding or perennial cottage garden plants for an instant display of foliage and flower colour. Our stores are fully stocked with an extensive range of quality British grown plants, selected for their excellent garden performance and floriferous display guaranteed to fill your garden with high summer colour.
Entertaining soon and don’t have the time to plant? Our in-house experts can do it for you! Simply pick your favourite flowers and a container in store – or bring one of your own – and one of the Dobbies team will plant up for you, ready to take away and pop straight into your favourite garden spot.
Maintain a good display of summer colour by regularly watering container plants, daily in warm weather, adding a balanced liquid fertiliser every other week to encourage strong healthy growth and continual flowering. Remove spent flowers to encourage more to follow.
Beds and Borders
Prune spring and early summer flowering shrubs, such as deutzia, weigela and philadelphus soon after flowering to prevent them becoming overgrown. Remove spent branches with secateurs or loppers to allow new growth to mature that will carry next year’s display. Extend the season of colour in borders with high summer flowering shrubs such as lavenders, hardy fuchsias and hydrangeas.
Lightly trim spring flowering heathers to maintain tidy, bushy growth, and keep weeds in check by hoeing as you go, before they get the chance to take root. If the weeds are taking over, now is also a good time to apply a chemical weed-killer, which will act fast in the hot temperatures.
Keep dead-heading your borders regularly to prolong the season and encourage new flowers.
Boost tomato, pepper and cucumber crops with regular feeding with a high potash tomato fertiliser. Pinch out side shoots of tomatoes to concentrate growing energy into trusses of fruit. Water regularly and consistently.
Late sowings of beetroot, radishes, lettuce and salad crops grow quickly in the warm soils for an extended season of fresh vegetables.
Continue to earth up main-crop potatoes, to avoid tubers being exposed to the light and turning green. Early potatoes will be ready for harvesting, maturing around 10 weeks from planting.
Louise Golden is the resident plant expert at Dobbies Garden Centres.