Rose Joie de Vivre

In The Garden: June

27th May 2011

In Bloom For June

Tips for this month's gardening from National Garden Gift Vouchers

Being in the garden is great at this time of year – the days are longer and warmer and you can really enjoy your outside living space as somewhere to relax and unwind. Research shows that being in the garden for just a few minutes can be good for your health, be it your physical well-being or your mental one. A study by the University of Essex shows that gardening can leave a positive impact on your mood and relax your senses.

Planting scent in the garden – a favourite theme of this column – is also an excellent way of improving your sense of well-being and making your outside space feel even more special.

One of the most popular and established plants possessed of a glorious aroma is, of course, the rose, a constant and important scent throughout history. The Romans scattered rose petals from ceilings at their banquets and placed roses on the statues of their favourite gods. The Egyptians also used rose petals at their important religious ceremonies. Rose is a calming scent and can help ease stress and nerves. Try making a rose infusion by adding a handful of rose petals to half a pint of boiling water and leave to simmer for five minutes. Let the mixture cool and then breathe in the sweet fragrance for ten minutes for a soothing and calming effect.

Roses come in all shapes and colours and there are many varieties to choose from. When planting roses in your garden you should consider the look and feel of what you would like to achieve – from creating excellent focal points to framing certain areas of your garden. They give a fantastic show throughout the summer months and are relatively easy to grow. They need only an initial feed at the beginning of spring, and then a regular feed after each flush of flower. An occasional soaking during dry summer days will help to maintain the plant’s health and vigour, and if you lightly dead head throughout the season it will continue to flower into the autumn.

There are many types and many varieties including shrub, the classic hybrid tea, and English roses that offer up an exquisite fragrance. Amongst all of the different types, there is a rose for every occasion, for every size of garden, for every style from contemporary to traditional, plus varieties for planting into flower beds or into traditional borders and for potting into planters.

And talking of these, for all your plants, but especially for those in planters or containers, this is the month to ensure they’re being adequately fed. Plants benefit from a regular feeding programme as they are growing so vigorously and need their nutrition levels to be kept up (just like us, really…). Slow release granules are a smart idea for your pots and baskets; they last for about six months on average, releasing food into the compost as it is required. No need to keep remembering to top up.

At this time of year you should be mowing your lawn more frequently – lower the cutting height if grass is growing very strongly. Little and often is the recipe for success. Regular cutting keeps the lawn thick, tidy and deters weeds. For most lawns, you may need to cut up to twice a week during the summer – so make sure you have a good mower. A trip to your local garden centre will result in the best machine for your particular lawn requirements, and if you’ve got some National Garden Gift Vouchers you can put them towards the cost.

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