Early July Gardening – In the flower garden there is now profusion as we enjoy more roses, phloxes, campanulas, heleniums, hemerocallis (day lilies) and gladioli etc. etc. Indeed there are enough flowers for everybody. There are few bulbs that can compete with the autumn crocus’ bright performance given during the last months of the year.
They are best ordered this month for planting in August. Nurserymen seldom hold large stocks and the gardener who leaves his order until August may be disappointed.
The bulbs should be planted 3 in deep, where they can be left to increase undisturbed, maybe hidden by pleasing ground cover.
The jewel-like flowers, white and in all shades from blue to violet, with brilliant stigmata, are extremely elegant.
Asters, nemesias, marigolds and quick-maturing annuals can be sown to fill gaps where bedding plants have failed or are in short supply. Marigolds are a blessing to those with a new garden and a small budget: mixed with cornflowers or larkspurs they make a tremendous splash.
If more rock plants are needed, rooted pieces of saxifrages, sedums, sempervivums and some of the other rock plants, can be detached from over-large plants and replanted.
With hopefully blue skies and sunshine it is too easy to forget the great indoors, so don’t!
Cuttings of aphelandra, cactus, coleus, ficus, fuchsia, plumbago and many other greenhouse or indoor plants strike willingly this month.
The two favorite office plants, Busy Lizzie and the Wandering Jew (tradescantia) should also be increased this month.
Beginners striking Busy Lizzie in water often leave the cutting in water too long. The cutting roots well enough, but soon suffers from the lack of nourishment in the water: as a result the weakling makes a poor start in life when potted up.
Go on spraying the solanum (the winter cherry) with water to ensure a good set.
Summer-flowering shrubs, now over, may be outgrowing their allotted place and may be pruned back, removing old and unwanted branches.