Great expectations – a truly Dickensian summer so far!
Sadly the great British summer has been pretty much par for the course to date; far from the flaming June we were promised, it was all hopelessly cool and soggy until the astonishing temperatures of last weekend. Apparently (and remarkably, despite Wimbledon), we’re due for some properly hot weather with the prospect of lunch in the sun a reality rather than just wishful thinking! When our weather behaves and our gardens are at the height of their glory, there’s surely no finer country in the world than this...
Bay Trees

For elegance and practicality, bay trees are a clever addition to any garden whatever the size. We love the simple chic of lollipop-shaped ones placed in pairs on either side of a front door, at the head of a garden path, by veggie garden entrances or anywhere else for that matter. They up the style ante in spades, adding formality, architectural flair and definition. Trim throughout the summer to keep the shape and don’t over-water pot-grown specimens. Plus, of course, the leaves are an invaluable culinary ingredient both dried and fresh. It’s a William Morris dream – to (slightly mis)quote, ‘Have nothing in your garden that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’.

Summer flowers need cutting, plucking and deadheading

Dead-heading is still top of the agenda, especially for roses. Heroically, these stalwarts of high summer are looking glorious in spite of the sometimes biblical deluges of late. Feeding and dead-heading back to five-leaflet leaves will prolong the display and maximise their beauty for weeks to come. It’s boring but well worth the effort!
Pruning trained apples and pears, hedges (check for nesting birds first), wisteria and weigela, philadelphus and deutzia once they’ve flowered. It’s also the ideal time of year to visit other gardens to admire what looks great and where and in what combinations. We’re great believers in not reinventing the wheel, so enjoy the fruits of other people’s labours and order what you love for planting this autumn for a little bit of plagiarism – imitation being the sincerest form of flattery and all that! Think trees, roses and shrubs – and if you’re feeling super-efficient, order bulbs now too. 
Even though last month’s frankly dismal performance meant that watering outside was hardly an issue, growbags and greenhouses still needed attention. If July’s heatwave does materialise, it’s essential to water regularly. Containers and hanging baskets will need daily care and don’t forget lawns need water and feed too. As we’ve said before, newly planted trees and plants are especially needy and even the well-established require water to keep them in good condition. Top up ponds with fresh water – a build-up of algae in warm weather can be toxic, if not fatal, for animals. 
Weeding, feeding, mulching and netting... 
Once the weather improves it’s time to relax and enjoy your garden, but there’s still plenty to be done to keep it in tip top shape. Weeding, feeding and mulching are, as ever, on the cards, and especially importantly, so is netting soft fruit before our lovely feathered friends get there first…for a full list of summer jobs please click here.
July hosts some of the most iconic events in the horti calendar...
Hampton Court Flower Show, the RHS Show Tatton Park and all those National Garden Scheme gems (the ultimate opportunity to ‘borrow’ ideas for your own garden!) - bliss.  
Self seeders

Happy accidents – the joy of self-seeders

There’s something magical about plants that seed themselves. I sowed a pack of annual love-in-a-mist about seven years ago, scattering seeds randomly in a sunny border at the back of the garden. I may have raked over the soil and possibly even given the area a quick water. 

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Is this the best time of the year for your garden?

My garden’s looking wonderful at the moment, even though its on a hilltop - and therefore slightly windswept - location means our plants seem to be a little later than elsewhere in the southwest of England. I recently went to the Isle of Mull for a week with some friends...

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A jewel in the English Heritage crown

The fabulous gardens of Walmer Castle We spent a few days in and around Broadstairs in Kent a few weekends ago, including an afternoon at Walmer Castle. It’s slap bang on the coast, between Deal and Dover, looking out over the North Sea across to France, canons trained menacingly on...

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We deliver more than 2,500 varieties of plants direct to your door – garden and fruit trees, bulbs, climbers, roses, lavender, soft fruit, flowers, herbs and accessories. Have a look online and leave the rest to us – we look forward to hearing from you, and in the meantime enjoy your garden and (hopefully!) some lovely weather.  
Hedging Plants
Garden Trees
Gardening Gifts
Fruit trees
Sweet Peas
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