Roses Are Red…

25th June 2010

and pink, and white, and yellow…

Tips for July gardening from National Garden Gift Vouchers

July is a glorious month with summer very much in the air. It’s the start of the holidays, barbecues are in full swing, cricket and tennis are the order of the day and our gardens become an extension of our day-to-day living space. It’s also the season for flower shows.

One of the largest is Hampton Court Flower Show, which attracts thousands of visitors in search of gardening inspiration or just a great day out. If you can’t get to the actual show, then it’s definitely worth visiting the gardens at a time that suits you … particularly as there is now a spectacular wine fountain to experience! It’s a replica of a 16th century design – beautifully created out of timber, lead, bronze and gold leaf – and it stands in the palace’s largest courtyard on the site where archaeologists found the remains of a 16th century fountain two years ago. The four-metre high fountain serves up red, white and rosé wine to visitors.

Talking of rosé, July is also the month when roses are in full bloom, turning gardens into beautiful arrays of blossoms. Roses put on a fantastic show throughout summer months with a wonderful flush of fragrance and flowers.

There are many types of roses and varieties including shrub roses, the classic hybrid tea, and English roses that offer an exquisite fragrance. Amongst all of the different types of roses, there is a rose for every occasion and one that suits both large and small gardens, contemporary or traditional, while offering varieties for planting into flower beds or traditional borders, and for potting into planters for the courtyard or patio garden. Instant appeal.

Relatively easy to maintain, roses are best grown in an open sunny position and benefit from the addition of well-rotted organic material and a good, general purpose fertilizer.

Planting container grown roses is easy: just dig out a hole a little wider than the root ball, place the plant into the hole and then fill in and firm the soil around the plant. Finish off by watering in well. Most bush roses can be easily maintained from year to year by the removal of any dead or crossing branches and a general reduction in size and shape to suit the planting situation. A wide variety of roses can be bought from your local garden centre or nursery, and can be purchased with National Garden Gift Vouchers.

July is also the key month to make sure your garden doesn’t suffer from dehydration. Conserve water and help plants in the summer by moving pots out of the sun into the shade and, when possible, water in the evenings so it has time to soak in overnight. A water butt is a wise and eco-friendly investment.

Top Tips for July:

• Feed, water and improve the soil by digging in some compost

• Collect seeds from the garden for next year by putting dead flower heads into a paper bag and shaking it. Remove the debris and store.

• Dead-head roses to encourage new flowers

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