June garden plant maintenance in Wokingham and Maidenhead

 June garden plant maintenance in Wokingham and Maidenhead

Berkshire and surrounding areas

Summer’s here!

Summer’s here – and let’s hope for lots of wonderful weather! Part of an English summer is the thoroughly enjoyable task of visiting nurseries to choose bedding plants. They are so pretty and colourful and, by June, we should be safe to plant them out in beds, pots and hanging baskets – as long as we remember to water them of course! There are so many to choose from in order to create interesting displays: Petunias, Marigolds, Dahlias, Pelargoniums/Nasturtiums, Lobelia, and, and, and . . .

Lots of herbaceous perennials flower in June and here are a few suggestions: Astrantias are a great addition to any border – try Astrantia major “Ruby Wedding” which has ruby red flowers with a hint of green, a classic “cottage garden” plant – or another old favourite, Gypsophila “Bristol Fairy” with its large sprays of tiny, pure white flowers, much loved by flower arrangers.

Geraniums are hard to beat when it comes to flowering performance – most people know “Wargrave pink” and “Johnsons Blue” but there are other, lesser known varieties such as Geranium renardii which has lavender coloured flowers with purple veins, or try Geranium phaeum which has brownish flowers and is good in partial shade. Finally, why not try Polemonium caeruleum “Brise d’Anjou”? It has masses of violet blue flowers borne on tall spikes with the added bonus of yellow margins on its leaves.

June is the month we start to cut hedges. It is safe to do this in June as it does not disturb nesting birds. Hedges such as Leylandii will have grown substantially and will need cutting to stop the hedge getting out of hand. In fact it is not unusual to have to cut Leylandii hedges three times in a year, but a minimum of twice is more normal and keeps them in shape. It’s really high maintenance when established.

A good alternative to Cupressocyparis x leylandii is Thuya plicata “Atrovirens”, or Western Red Cedar as it is known by its common name. It is slower-growing than leylandii and only requires cutting once a year. It also has the added benefit that its foliage is scented when bruised or cut!

An excellent conifer hedge is Yew (Taxus baccata). It is very slow-growing but when established, it cannot be beaten as a conifer hedge with its rich green foliage and dense growth. An added bonus to Yew hedges is that they can be cut back at any time to old bare wood as they will regenerate – there are very few conifers that do this.

Broad leaf hedges such as Laurel (Prunus rotundifolia) is best cut using secateurs to retain whole leaves. If a hedge cutter is used, leaves get cut in half which can look unsightly. Smaller hedges such as Box are best cut two or three times a year to keep them tidy and compact.

Jobs for June

  • Keep weeding and deadheading to ensure borders stay looking at their best. If you didn’t do so in the spring, apply a mulch on moist soil.

  • Watch out for aphids on susceptible plants, e.g., lupins. Spray with a soap-based insecticide if necessary.

  • Mow and edge your lawn.

  • Keep compost moist in containers; warm weather means daily watering of pots and hanging baskets. If yours are already dry, rehydrate the compost by plunging the whole thing in water for an hour or so.

  • Deadhead roses as often as you can now they’re flowering at full tilt.

  • Start to remove side shoots from your tomatoes.

  • Start to cut hedges.

  • Cut back foliage on spring bulbs such as daffodils, tulips, crocus.