In The Garden: July

24th June 2011

Put Your Feet Up And Relax...

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

July is the month for you to get out and really enjoy your garden. The lazy, hazy days of summer are best spent enjoying the plants that you have lovingly nurtured and cared for over the past months and that are now in full flower.

It’s also, generally, the start of the holiday season so it’s time to relax in your outside space with your family, or just chill out on your own. A perfect plant to help in the unwinding process is Chamomile – a daisy-like flower with small white petals and dark green leaves that loves the sunny parts of the garden. The flowers of the Chamomile plant were considered sacred in ancient Egypt due to amazing healing properties. This plant can help with a range of ailments from indigestion (think Peter Rabbit) to headaches and has been used as an antiseptic. It’s one of the safest and most popular herbs around, most commonly used as a calming or soothing agent.

Another sun loving plant is the stunning Agapanthus or African lily which flowers at this time of year and is grown for its showy flowers, normally in shades of blue and purple, but they can also be white and pink. Agapanthus thrive in any well-drained, sunny position in the garden, or in containers. They are easy to grow and produce beautiful flowers on long elegant stems throughout the summer months. Although it can take a couple of years for them to establish, your patience will be rewarded with an abundance of flowers. Water regularly but sparingly, and feed fortnightly during the growing season with a good fertiliser, such as tomato feed.

It’s not all about sitting back and smelling the roses though – there’s still work to be done. July is a key month to make sure that your garden doesn’t suffer from dehydration. Conserve water and help your plants in the summer by moving pots out of full sun into shade when possible. If you don’t already have one, a water butt is a wise and eco-friendly investment. Feed, water and improve the soil by digging in some compost – you can also collect seeds from the garden for next year by putting dead flower heads into a paper bag and shaking it. Remove the residue debris and store.

The key to success is maintenance – dead heading, weeding and pest control, plus a weekly mow – along with good, effective watering. Tps for good watering include using water-retaining gel in containers (buy from your local garden centre with your National Garden Gift Vouchers), water the area directly above the roots and water in the evening because cooler nights mean less evaporation…

…and then you really can put your feet up and relax!

Find Your Local