Good stuff for your garden for July...

Watering matters at times like this

In a heatwave such as this, plants that have been in the ground less than a year struggle for water. Give it another week or so and the soil will be so dry that anything with shallow roots - no matter how well established - will be showing signs of stress.

So, in light of the forecast for the next week, why not spend a happy, WARM evening in the garden this week-end really soaking your newer acquisitions? Remember that a lot of water once every couple of weeks is much more beneficial than a sprinkling every couple of days. It also uses less water...

If you are not sure what to do, have a look at our guide to watering.

Last call for Lavender

We still have a few lavender plants left. A full range of colours in P9 (9 cms) pots but only blue and pink in larger pot sizes. And only a very few of those. They will love the hot spell we are having and should be with you in time to plant this weekend if you order today or on Tuesday. 

Julian's Top Tip -

When it is as hot and dry as this leaving your lawn a bit longer preserves water. The grass does not have to expend energy/moisture regrowing, and longer grass shades the soil and keeps it that little bit cooler.

This weather is also the best time to spend a little time with a hoe killing young weeds as they wilt almost as soon as you look at them. So satisfying...


But Bay trees like it dry

Bay trees have a reputation for not being winter hardy, but ours has - with root-pruning - been in the same pot for well over 20 years and my mother had one that happily went through the awful winters of the late fifties and early sixties without noticeable ill-effects. The trick is to keep them dry in winter - which also makes them perfect for weather such as we are having now. And nothing tastes quite like a fresh bay leaf - infuse it in the milk you use for a cheese sauce and see for yourself.

We have a range of topiary bay as well as smaller unpruned plants which you can even keep on your windowsill.

Forgot your Raspberries?

Generally, you plant raspberries the year before you need them. However, if you happen to know a friendly online nursery (nudge, nudge) that has a great range of soft fruit, then they just might have Ruby Beauty raspberries in 3 Litre pots that are carrying unripe fruit as this is being written.

Ruby Beauty is designed to be grown in containers long term - 10 Litres is ideal, so these will make a brilliant present - for yourself on your patio, balcony, terrace etc or for friends and family.

When they have fruited, pot them up and you will get a bigger crop next year. But we don't have too many left, so be quick.

Start planning your Bulbs

Yes, I know - this is all about July. Well, the first glory of the border is over, so while you are dead-heading and weeding you are in exactly the right place AND frame of mind to think about where you want those drifts of colour early next year that were missing this spring.

So, in the words of the immortal Peter Sellers - "NOW IS THE TIME..."

Prune that wisteria...

Notice the days getting shorter? That is because mid-summer has passed.

Which means it is time to summer-prune your wisteria. This is necessary or it will become overgrown before you can say "next year" and pruning also improves flowering. This month, shorten any growths you do not want to be structural, to 4-5 leaves.

We will try to remind you, but just in case, put a note in your gardening diary to shorten the growths you prune this month to just 2-3 buds in mid-winter.

As simple as that.

July jobs

Fortunately, July is a month where enjoyment comes right at the top of the to-do list. After all, that is what gardens and gardening are for.

But if you have a puritanical streak and need work rather than a glass of ice cold lager, or maybe a spritzer made with the palest rosé, or a glass of prosecco with the thinnest shaving of lemon peel... then the list is simple. In order of priority WEED, WATER and DEADHEAD.

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