Through the summer months, we want to be outside and enjoying our gardens as much as possible. The warm summer temperatures and lengthy days entice us out from early morning until late in the evening. It is the time to invite family and friends over for a BBQ, to watch children playing in the paddling pool and to enjoy a relaxing glass of wine as the sun sets.
During June, July and August, our gardens are at their peak. Some of us enjoy borders full of colourful blooms and bushy shrubs, whilst others take great pleasure from the neat lines of a freshly mown lawn. From birdsong to the humming of bees, the garden is full of wildlife at this time of year and it is also time to delight in the scents of roses, lavender, sweet peas and other fragrant flowers.
Another joy of summer is that we can begin to harvest the fruits of our labours in the vegetable plots and orchard. All those battles with slugs and birds which threatened our young shoots are forgotten as we relish the taste of fresh produce that was picked just minutes before. Nothing beats it!
One reason that we can sit back and relax in our gardens at this time of year is that the up keep and maintenance is easier. The main tasks are watering, mowing, dead heading and filling any gaps with bright bedding plants.
During dry spells, it is important to water plants, especially those in pots and containers, newly planted specimens and vegetable crops. To minimise the water lost to evaporation, it is best to water plants in the early morning or evening. On particularly hot days it may be necessary to do both. If possible fill your watering can with rain water from water butts.
Lawns will generally need mowing and edges trimmed on a weekly basis through the summer, although in very hot conditions it is better to leave the blades longer to help the grass retain moisture. Unless the turf is newly laid, avoid watering the lawn unless completely necessary; even if it starts to brown, grass will soon recover after a good down pour.
As blooms fade, removing them with a pair of secateurs can bring many benefits. Firstly, it keeps the garden looking in top condition, secondly it can encourage a second flush of blooms from the same plant, lengthening the joy of a colourful border and finally, seeds from the dead headed plants can be saved for planting the following year.
If you would benefit from the assistance to keep your garden in top condition throughout the year, you can engage the services of professional landscape gardeners. Maidenhead based Thames Valley Landscapes can assist with garden maintenance for households in South Bucks.
Finally, it is during these summer months that we often get the opportunity to visit other gardens. We may be invited to join friends for lunch or attend an ‘open gardens’ event. We are more likely to visit the gardens of stately homes and other attractions. These can provide inspiration for new planting combinations, colours or specimens that we may want to include in our gardens. Talking to other keen gardeners can also provide a wealth of valuable information.