Fragrant Flowers And Foliage

We will soon be in June, a lovely month to be in the garden – everything is bursting into bloom and you can really enjoy being outside

With the evenings getting longer and brighter you can use your garden or patio as a great extension to your home – whether it’s in the countryside or in a smaller, but equally treasured, urban environment.

It’s also traditionally the time to plant out bedding plants which are so much part of the floral display of a summer garden. However, in addition to looking good, some plants also taste good. Herbs have some of the most beautiful flowers in the garden and are edible.

So, thrifty tip for the month is, if you plant a selection of flowering edible herbs you will have a beautiful garden good enough to eat! You can make any herb produce more flowers by planting them in a well drained site or container in a sunny location. When planting a herb that you want to flower use some organic compost and feed in the planting hole then plant the herb, water at the base and keep the soil moist throughout the growing season. Along with basil, sage and mint, chives are delightful edible treats with beautiful flowers and make lovely pollinator plants.

You could also let your herbs bolt – when the plant changes from being mainly leaf-based to a plant that has mostly flowers and stems. Once a herb has bolted, when the weather gets hot and dry, it loses its flavour and produces flowers that are rich with nectar that attract bees and butterflies. If you want to attract moths, then try plants with white flowers that release their scent in the evening such as tobacco plants or night-scented stocks.

Another aromatic addition to the garden is the scented-leaved pelargonium – commonly known as geranium – that brings foliage, fragrance and flowers to any outside space. There are a variety of fragrances – lemon, rose, lavender, cinnamon, apple – created from natural oils within the leaves that are released when brushed with fingers or hands, and sometimes after a summer shower. Scented-leaved pelargoniums are best grown in containers in the sunny position. They can withstand chills outside especially if grown next to a house wall, but not frosts and if temperatures dip, they are best brought inside over winter. Cuttings can be taken in late summer. Popular varieties include Attar of Roses with pale green foliage, a rosy aroma and pink flowers, Prince of Orange with a strong orange scent and pale purple and white flowers and Deerwood Lavender Lass a semi-trailing plant with olive green leaves and rosy-mauve flowers.

The extra light and warmth this month encourages the garden to put on an exuberant burst of growth – especially fruit trees.

• Tie in climbing or rambling roses
• Pinch out side shoots on tomatoes
• Mow lawns at least once a week
• Recycle grass clippings
• Begin feeding potted flowers
• Protect brassicas from cabbage white caterpillars
• Plant out dahlias
• Be water wise and try to use grey water in the garden
• Watch out for mould on fruit, especially strawberries
• Weed regularly



Tedd Walmsley

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