Top 5 garden jobs in June
Sherlock fans might recognise this stately pile: Benedict and co filmed The Abominable Bride here at Tyntesfield House near Wraxall in North Somerset last year. The Gibbs family, who originally owned the place, made their fortune importing guano (solidified bird droppings) to be used as fertiliser and no doubt some of it went into their own spectacular gardens. There are 50 acres of formal terraces, lawns, rose garden, kitchen garden, orangery, cut flower garden and around 500 acres of parkland; most of it remains as it did in the 1900s. Head gardener Paul Evans took a few minutes away from planting out 11,000 bedding plants on the terraces in front of the house, to give me this month’s gardening tips:
Put plants out in beds and pots
Traditionally, bedding plants go in from 1 June, when theroretically there’s no longer any chance of frost. So that’s when we start here at Tyntesfield. You can plant up your pots and containers now, too. Go for combinations with dramatically contrasting colours, such as a deep blue petunia called ‘Shock wave demin’ edged with a vibrant French marigold called ‘Durango orange’. Other good choices include heliotropes, white begonias, amaranthus and cannas with trailing plants planted around them.
Get out that hoe
Spend five or ten minutes every day hoeing around your plants to remove any small weeds before they get too big and you’ll need to get down on your hands and knees to pull or dig them out. It’s much more comfortable and better for your back too.
Deadhead, deadhead, deadhead
Keep deadheading your roses, sweet peas etc, by pinching or cutting off the blooms as they start to die. The more dead or dying flower heads you take off, the longer the plants will keep flowering.
Stake your herbaceous plants and tie in your roses
Stake up any herbaceous plants that will develop heavy flower heads – like peonies, chrysanthemums, dahlias – just as they’re starting to flower. Leave it too late and they might be damaged by the wind or rain. We use canes, hazel branches or a large-holed wire mesh/grid held up with canes for the flowers to grow through. This is also the time to tie in shoots on climbers and rambling roses, to train them in the right direction and to prevent damage – do it now while the shoots are still very flexible.
Keep on top of the lawn
Mow the lawn and trim the edges every week and you’ll create instant impact in the garden.