Well, well, well……..

 

Well, well, well, what do have we here?  I do believe it is the sun which means that summer is upon us!  Days of light, colour, heat and barbecues.  Stunning hanging baskets and pots, with blooming begonias, petunias, geraniums etc (or should that be ‘geranii’?).  Farmers’ fields full of colour and crops, holidays, beaches, and travel abroad.  Oh no, wait, that last bit is not right….yet.  All the more reason to travel through our glorious countryside, admiring the swathes of colour, dappled shade along the country roads, pub gardens – I could go on.

 

This is the time of year that the gardener can enjoy the fruits of his or her labours.  Ornamental borders will soon be at the peak of perfection and there will be plenty of summer vegetables to be savoured over the next few months.  The long summer evenings are a joy and there is nothing better in the cool of a summer’s evening than sitting in your garden with a glass of something chilled, listening to the birds and enjoying the sights and sounds of your own private piece of paradise.

 

As the summer goes on, the scent from flowers such as roses and sweet peas fill the air, especially on warm summer evenings. There is however, still plenty of routine work to be done!   You never know, this summer might be dry and hot, so keep an eye on baskets and pots and make sure that they are watered well, together with any newly planted plants.  Shade greenhouses and conservatories and make sure that the ventilation is good.  Keep an eye out also for pests and diseases – we are not the only ones who like the summer.  Most problems with pests etc an be controlled by organic means and/or by good garden hygiene – not allowing plants to grow too close together and also feeding them to build up resistance. 

 

With climate change, it is important to conserve water as much as we can – if you haven’t already done so, install a water butt to catch rain water.  Plants always grow better if watered with rain water rather than tap water as it lacks the chemicals routinely added to tap water to eradicate harmful bacteria.

 

Mulches are good on pots and borders to prevent soil drying out, but do keep an eye out fo those pesky weeds; they don’t stop just because the sun comes out, while deadheading is a regular task that that will allow plants to continue giving all through the summer and in many cases, into the autumn.  A few minutes a day can make all the difference.

 

So enjoy it while it last – the summer months can be as much as or a little gardening work as you want; a little but there and a little bit there will keep your garden tidy and something to treasure.

 

Malcolm Richardson