Now we are in the peak of summer, with long warm summer days and the odd splattering of rain, to keep your garden looking its best, remove any spent flowers to prolong the flowering display (unless of course you are wanting the seeds), and water direct at plants roots when needed.
As lavender flowers start to fade and the bees have had their feast, trim back stalks to divert energy back into the plants roots but avoid cutting into old wood as they will not regenerate.
Trim over herbs such as rosemary, chives and mint to keep leaves fresh.
If you have a wildflower meadow in your garden, now is a good time to cut it back. Normally one year in three can be left until September allowing late flowering species to seed.
Now that the risk of frost has passed, it’s time to trim evergreen topiary. Use hand shears to avoid tearing leaves, which can cause infections in the plant. To help avoid ‘Box blight’, ensure you clean and disinfect your tools between each plant trim.
Dead-head roses to prolong flowering and feed with an organic fertilizer.
Encourage beneficial wildlife into your garden by growing plants such as Anemone x hybrida, Campanulus and Rudbeckias which will feed off pests such as aphids.
Keep an eye on your lilies this month as red spider mites enjoy hot dry weather conditions. Conserving moisture helps to deter them.
To encourage new plant growth, cut back old flowered stems from the base on plants such as Anthemis, Catmints, Centaureas, Delphiniums, Geraniums and Salvias.
With unusually soaring temperatures this month, plants are springing into action very fast, from Peonies to Alliums. During extremely dry periods it’s important to keep watering. If you’re thirsty, so are your plants.
May is known as the month of the ‘Chelsea Chop’. This process involves reducing the size of late flowering perennials by half such as Sedums and Asters, which helps to avoid flopping stems and increases the plants bushiness.