Roz Chandler is a Flower Farmer and Founder of Field Gate Flowers (www.fieldgateflowers.co.uk), running online courses in flower growing. She is Female First's new Gardening Columnist and here is her take on what you should be up to in your garden in June.
June is the month of blooming blooms and yes weeds……
I have to ask myself is June the new May? I woke up to finish writing this in lovely sunshine and all of a sudden, my spirits were lifted.
Do bear in mind that we are behind this year on everything. In the UK we have had the driest and coldest April on record and surely May must be one of the wettest. So, I am keeping it all crossed that June will be one of the sunniest…. who is with me on this? So, as we head towards the longest day of the year – June 21st. Lets celebrate the Summer and all things growing and the lovely forecast for June.
So here are my top 7 tips from the cutting patch for June.
1. For the last couple of years June has been a bit of a washout – try to capture rainwater – in water butts, to use through the rest of the summer. I must stop talking about the weather but as a flower farmer I am obsessed with it.
2. Keep on top of weeds. As your flowers grow so will your weeds. Remember weeds are just flowers in the wrong place.
3. Keep deadheading; roses, phlox, lupins, delphiniums. I find this therapeutic if a little time consuming. Always a nice job to do at the end of the day.
4. Disbud roses to encourage larger flowers on single straight stems and feed them regularly. We have feeding Fridays here on the farm and use Uncle Toms.
5. When Lilacs are over you can cut the flowers off and even give them a good hard prune if they are out of hand.
6. You can cut back the old flowers and leaves of hellebores to make room in borders for other plants.
7. Once the leaves of spring bulbs like Narcissus and tulips have dies back you can cut it back and even lift and store the bulbs. This is always a hard one, At the farm, we pull the bulb out with the stem when we want the flower for an arrangement – the stem is longer then. We then put the bulbs in my own border for pleasure rather than commercial use as they will not be as good in their second year. Some flower farmers compost them which I haven’t got the heart to do.
In a domestic garden they will of course flower again but not as well in future years. You need to encourage all the energy back into the bulb which is why you take off the leaves.
Have a lovely June and I will be back with more tips for July.
What a strange April 2021 we have had and of course not just for gardeners! April has seen its highest level of frost in 60 years, with an average of 13 days of frost topping the previous record figure of 11 days in 1970. This frost is more typical of the months of January and February. It will also be remembered by gardeners as being a dry one and again it tops the records for being the driest April on record; we have spent many a day watering our fields. So, whilst lots of records have been made, it hasn’t been great fun for us growers. Battling with dry conditions and having to water like mad, I for one felt I was doing the hokey cokey most of the month – plants out, then plants back in the polytunnel and then back out...