Gardening, Gardening Year, Planting, Plants, Wildlife

July is the height of summer, and usually the hottest month of the year, it’s a great time to sit and enjoy the work you’ve put in earlier in the year. July gardening is mostly about maintenance.

General Gardening Jobs

garden lawn

Top up bird baths, ponds and water features – June is one of the hottest months of the year so you need to check your birdbaths and ponds regularly to make sure they don’t go dry.

Trim conifers and other garden hedges – this is the time of year when growth can get a bit out of control, so now is the best time to trim in order to keep an even shape. Just make sure that you check the hedge for birds nests first.

Feed the lawn with specialist fertilizer –  this is your last chance to fertilize your lawn in order to keep lush green growth alongside regular deep watering once a week.

Remove floating blanket weed from ponds – this weed can be bad for water oxygenation so needs to be removed, simply put a pole or stick into the water and twirl it to remove from the pond.  Before composting, leave on the edge of the pond for a few hours so that any wildlife can get back to the pond

Think about which plants you would like for next springit might seem a bit early, but now is the time to get thinking about next year, and if you want to be ready for autumn planting it’s best to start ordering now.

Plants 

creating a sumemr garden

Support climbing plants –  continue to tie climbing plants to supports as they continue to grow this month.

Deadhead bedding plants – July gardening may involve removing dead and dying flowers from your border plants will tidy your garden and encourage new growth, giving you more colour for longer.  

Take cuttings for indoor overwintering – taking cuttings from your tender plants, shrubs and herbaceous perennials should be done this month to give you enough time to prepare them for overwintering and ready for next year.

Prune wisteria –  remove the side shoots from the main branch to about 20cm from their base, this will encourage neater growth.

Wildlife Care 

hedgehog in the garden

Put out food for hedgehogs – hoglets should be emerging from their birth nests this month so to give them a helping hand as they start to explore the world you can leave out water and meat-based dog or cat food (ideally chicken) on a plate or in a hedgehog feeder.

Plant low growing plants around ponds – this is the time of year where baby frogs should be emerging from ponds, and you can help them hide from predators or shelter from the  sun by planting low growing plants or allowing the lawn to grow near the edge of your pond.

Sow wildlife-friendly biennials – planting flowers like foxgloves, forget-me-nots and hollyhock is a great way to attract pollinators to your garden. By sowing now you are ensuring a source of food that’ll last longer into the year, giving them a better chance to survive the winter.

 

Decoration, Gardening, Gardening & Landscaping, Plants

Our Favourite Fast Growing Climbing Plants

Fast-growing climbing plants are a great tool for prettifying parts of your garden that you may not be so fond of. Within months, gardeners can see walls, fences, trellises, and pergolas transform into botanical displays.

All hardy, and with beautiful foliage and flowers, read on for our favourite fast growing climbers for your garden. 

What is a Fast Growing Climbing Plant?

A fast growing climbing plant is a vine that will quickly envelop a large surface with their stems and foliage. With some varieties capable of growing over a dozen feet per year, climbers are a favourite amongst those with a passion for decor and gardening. 

How Does a Climbing Plant Climb?

To avoid the sun, a climber will initially creep along the ground. However, once a climbing plant touches a new surface, chemical changes will prompt a new growing habit. From this point onwards, these vines will grow in an upwards direction. 

Climbing genuses can have differing methods of climbing, such as:

  • Twining: Twining plants, such as a Clematis, will twist around surfaces via their stems or leaves.
  • Tendrilling: Tendrils deriving from the plant’s stem will wrap around a surface, mirroring a coil.
  • Clinging: Stems produce clusters of roots that cling to a variation of surfaces; examples include Hydrangeas.
  • Scrambling: Scrambling plants, such as vigorous Roses, have long, vine-like stems that require a degree of support in order to climb.

Chinese Wisteria

Characterised by their pendulous flowers, Wisterias are one of the most popular climbing genuses. Commonly called Chinese Wisteria, Wisteria sinensis is a particularly vigorous variety, which can exceed 40 feet in height. As such, this variety will happily reach the second story of a home, and can blanket a fence within a single growing season.

Visible during spring and early summer, a Chinese Wisteria’s flowers will give passers by a treat with their delightfully sweet scent. With this sensuous feature accompanied by swaying movement, these flowers will add a romantic touch to a wall-side border.

Chinese Wisteria is a non-fussy climber, where it will tolerate most well-drained soils, and will thrive in full sun or partial shade. Drought tolerant, this climber will make a reliable addition to your outdoor space.

Style Tip

Chinese Wisteria is a long-living plant, and if you are meticulous about your garden’s planting schemes, you must put careful thought into new additions for the years to come. When flowering, Wisteria will become a focal point, so keep nearby shrubs well-pruned to avoid a busy look.

Forming drooping clusters of delicate white flowers, Wisteria senensis ’Alba’ is great for a particularly colourful garden, where its luminous white flowers will harmonise with every shade, whether warm or cool. If you are worried about your Wisteria clashing with  other plants, this is the climbing plant for you. 

White Passion Flower

Our Favourite Fast Growing Climbing Plants

Native to South America, the Passion Flower will flourish in tropical climates, yet withstand freezing winters. Due to this hardiness, they will make a resilient choice for your garden. If you want to swiftly cover areas of your garden with exotic blooms, why not opt for Passiflora ‘Snow Queen‘?

Snow Queen is a highly vigorous climber that will bear white flowers, adorned by green and purple stamens. The complex scent of these flowers encompasses a mix of sweet, earthy, and tropical notes, which will capture intrigue from friends and family. 

Flowering from summer through to autumn, Snow Queen can quickly grow up to 20 feet long, and will make a beautiful addition to walls, trellises, and fences. This variety is particularly perfect for enhancing a Mediterranean garden, or adding tropical edge to a cottage garden.

Clematis ‘Pink Fantasy’

Our Favourite Fast Growing Climbing Plants

With an abundance of stellate flowers, each etched by darker stripes of purple across their petals, ‘Pink Fantasy’ will prove a pretty addition to your garden. Able to quickly reach 8 feet in length, this Clematis will form gorgeous cover for trellises and pergolas. Throughout early summer to early autumn, Pink Fantasy’s flowers will gradually mature from deep pink to near white. As such, you can enjoy a plethora of seasonal colour. 

Clematis plants are esteemed for their generous flowering periods, which often last a full season. Therefore, if you are after a long-running display,  Clematis is the genus for you.  

Shade tolerant, this Clematis is a great option if your garden is north-facing. Despite being fast growing, this climber also requires relatively little maintenance (mostly deadheading and regular pruning to maintain neat growth)

Bluebell Creeper

A quickly growing climber, the Bluebell creeper is wonderful for embracing cooler tones in your garden. The nodding, campanulate-shaped flowers boast a vivid blue colour, which stands out against their dark foliage.

Present all summer long, these vibrant flowers will become your floral fairylights for archways and trellises. However, even when these flowers disappear, your outdoor space will benefit from pretty foliage all year round. The lance-shaped leaves of this climber create a gentle silhouette, yet are organised compactly to provide generous concealment; covering areas with greenery even in winter.

Due to its noteworthy qualities, the Bluebell Creeper has achieved the Award of Garden Merit; assuring you that you will be planting an easy to grow, hardy, disease and pest resistant, and beautiful climbing plant. 

Birds, Flowers, Gardening, Gary, Scott, Wildlife

We can’t ignore it anymore – summer is finally here. As the days get longer, and flowers bloom nature kicks into full gear. But the changes you see in in the garden go way beyond more sun and some blooming flowers. If you take the time to look at the natural world around you there is plenty to see. 

Pollinators 

The first and most noticeable thing about the coming of summer is the colour that appears as plants come to life all around us,  but in the background, a small army of critters and insects are working to pollinate these plants and keep our countryside vibrant. Keep an eye out when your in your garden or out for a walk and see if you can spot any of these underacknowledged pollinators at work.

bees

Ants  – not as effective as the pollinating powerhouses such as bees and wasps, they do however have a limited role in pollinating your garden. Next time you see some in your garden, see if you can see where they are walking.

Bees – did you know that the UK has around 250 different species of bee? Bees are some of our best pollinators and not only for our gardens. They also have a big role in pollinating a lot fo the food we eat.

Butterflies – always a happy sight in the garden, this month you may spot the Painted Lady Butterfly. It has a distinct rusty red colour with black wingtips spotted with white.

Moths –  when they’re not flying around your house to try and get to the lightbulbs, these little creatures spend a lot of their time outdoors pollinating plants, but because it happens at night we never see it. If you have fragrant flowers like jasmine in your garden it’s likely a moth that is doing the pollination work.  

Beetles  – known as mess-and-soil pollinators, Beetles will eat parts of a plant and pollinate through their droppings. If you’re out for a walk, take a closer look at some of the plants and you might see a beetle at work.  

New birds 

The dawn chorus is one of the sweetest sounds of summer, and a lot of those voices come from birds who have come over for the summer. If you keep your eyes and ears open when you sit outside or take your daily walk there are a lot of new birds to see so keep your eye out.  

Most birds will be feeding their young on insects this time of year. Below is a list of birds you might spot in your garden:

  • Sparrows
  • Blue Tit
  • Robin
  • Starling
  • Greenfinch
  • Goldfinch
  • Common Chiffchaff
  • Willow Warbler

Flowers

Poppies

There are many kinds of wildflower that will begin to emerge and bloom this time of year. See the list below for some of our favourites; how many have you spotted?

  • Poppies
  • Cornflowers
  • Marsh Marigold
  • Meadow Buttercup
  • Forget-Me-Nots
  • Foxglove
  • Yarrow

 

Allotment, Gary, Grow Your Own, Herbs, Insects, Pest Control, Planting, Vegetables

June is an important month for the allotment or home grower – the risk of frost is now gone and the days are getting longer and hotter, meaning now is peak growing season for a lot of plants and seedlings. Here’s what’s going on this month: 

Harvesting 

Harvest beetroot

You will be able to lift your early potatoes towards the end of the month and start harvesting soft fruits as soon as they have ripened.  It’s also time to start harvesting

  • Beetroot
  • Broad beans
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Early peas
  •  Lettuce
  •  Rhubarb
  •  spring onions
  •  Radish
  •  Spinach

Sowing and Planting

prepare your garden soil

Now is the time to start sowing seeds for: 

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbages
  • Cauliflowers
  •  Celeriac
  •  Courgettes
  •  Outdoor cucumbers
  •  French and runner beans
  •  Leeks
  •  Pumpkins
  •  Sweetcorn

Remember that all plants are different, so always follow the instructions on the packet. Outdoor tomatoes can now be planted into their final position, and you can start successional sowings of :

  • Beetroot
  • Kohl rabi
  •  Lettuce 
  •  Winter cabbage 

General

Summer

  • Feed Tomatoes  
  • Protect Fruit 
  • Hoe Weeds 
  • Train in climbing beans 
  •  Put in supports for peas.
  •  Top dress Asparagus them with soil or fertilizer ready for next year
  • Keep plants growing under glass well watered

Pests and Diseases

Aphids  – spraying your brassicas with diluted washing up liquid will deter them from landing on your crops. You can buy insecticides if you prefer, including a fatty acid soap to spray on the plants.

Carrot fly –   a particular problem between May and September when female flies lay their eggs the best defence to cover plants with horticultural fleece or place two-foot high barriers around the plants.

Cabbage root fly– attacking the roots of brassicas, these flies can cause a lot of damage to your plants. Female flies lay the eggs on the surface of the soil next to the stem of the plant. Place a piece of carpet (or cardboard or fleece) around the base of the plant to create a collar, this will stop the flies from laying their eggs on the soil.