June 2014 in the garden

Glynn SmithBy Glyn Smith Head Gardener at Erddig Hall National Trust Garden

As the summer bedding plants settle into their new beds, June interest in the garden can depend on colour from herbaceous perennials and shrubs. One of my favourite shrubs for June is the Philadelphus, or ‘Mock Orange’ and here we have under planted it with herbaceous Geraniums. The scent is heady and wonderful.

Tips for the month.
With all the wet weather, we have not been able to mow lawns regularly or weed, so they are probably the main priorities now. Also, with any holidays approaching, planting, supporting and feeding are also important to keep in mind.

It is still not too late for some herbaceous plants to benefit from the ‘Chelsea’ chop, so named after the time of the Chelsea flower show in May. Artemisias, Salvias and Sedums that tend to sprawl and flop can be cut down, about halfway, to encourage stockier plants that need less staking and a succession of flowers.

Make sure you water new plantings well, to establish them quickly. Add a little liquid feed to the water to give them a good start.

June is the month of Roses. They are our favourite flower, but suffer so much from greenfly and diseases. Keep them at bay by applying a fungicide spray for blackspot, mildew and rose rust regularly.

Check supports for Clematis and other climbing plants. Our Victorian garden Clematis, grown up rustic poles, need a regular tie in every week as they grow.

In the vegetable garden, keep up the plantings of successional crops of salads. Plant outdoor Tomatoes and Cucumbers. Plant Runner beans and winter greens. If Leek seedlings are large enough, they can be planted out too. Don’t forget to earth up Potatoes as they will turn green if not kept in the dark. Support peas and beans with brushwood, or sticks. Ease off picking rhubarb, to allow it to build up strength for next year.

And, don’t forget to keep an eye on soft fruit. Make sure bird netting is intact to prevent them stealing your strawberries, raspberries, currants and gooseberries.