This guide will not only teach you how to plant Lavender but also where. As an incredibly fragrant flower there are optimal places to allow these flowers to bloom. One of the easier shrubs to grow, Lavender grows best in free-draining soil. It also thrives in full sun and is drought tolerant. Best planted in spring as it will flower in Summer, filling the air with that well-known, aromatic scent.
Step 1: Where to plant
Before you start planting your lavender, it’s vital to choose where. Lavender grows beautifully in containers, but absolutely steals the show when planted in flower borders and herb gardens. It also works well as a boarder or lining a walkway, ensuring the sweet scent can be smelled all over the garden.
Step 2: Prepare your soil
Ensure you’ve removed all weeds from the selected area, and dig over any free-draining soil. If growing in groups, space plants about 90cm apart. If you’re growing a hedge, space plants about 30cm apart.
Step 3: Water
After planting, water regularly during the first season, especially in dry weather. Although lavender is drought tolerant, during the first summer newly planted lavender should be watered regularly.
Step 4: In containers
Containers, about 30-40cm, hold Lavender the best with large draining holes. Make sure the lavender is planted at the same level as its previous pot. At first water well, but then once or twice a week during summer to ensure the soil does not dry out. Containers dry out quicker as the roots have a limited amount soil in which to search for moisture.
To keep your lavender plant neat and attractive, annually trim the plant in late summer, once the flowering has finished. Remove any spent flower stalks.
In winter, cover the lavender with a winter mulch which will protect the lavender from freezing winds and temperature.
Lavender is also multifunctional and can be easily repurposed. Lavender oil is perfect for aromatherapy. Or, if dried it makes great tea!
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There’s no denying that Begonias are one of the most popular and sought after flowers for the summer garden. With a beautiful and rich assortment of colours and a long flowering season, there are so many qualities to enjoy when it comes to these vibrant beauties.
Check out our guide to find out more about tubers and how to plant them, as well as a summary of our beautiful types of Begonias, so you can find a variety that best suits you and your garden’s needs.
What are Tubers?
Tubers are a thick underground part of a stem or rhizome and Begonia sizes are measured by the diameter of the tuber. Many of our varieties are supplied either as:
Standard size (3/4cm) – great for mass planting
Exhibition size (5cm+) – excellent for large flowering displays
Summer Bedding If you held off planting in May, now is the ideal time to clear these plants out of your greenhouse and get your summer bedding and hanging baskets finished. There is minimal chance of frost even this far north so line your baskets, prepare the soil and use some organic compost to fertilize the soil. Ensure you water regularly particularly if the weather is warm and dry.
Hot weather protection
Hot and dry weather can be just as dangerous as the harsh conditions of winter for your plants. Recent dry spells mean watering is more important than ever. Don’t let all your hard work go to waste. Regular watering of pots and baskets is essential to maximise your garden show this summer. You should also remember to keep your greenhouses cool and prevent scorch with shading and ventilation.
Prepare to tie up tall border perennials with support. Tall varieties such as Hollyhocks, Delphiniums and Lupins will need a little help and stakes can help prevent wind damage. You might also like to cut back early-flowering perennials such as Papavers as this will provide fresh foliage and possibly even a second flowering.
Protect fruit trees
Protect the newly developing fruit on your fruit trees from birds. This can be tricky as netting suggested last month for soft fruit, is not a viable option. We recommend using some of those unwanted DVDs or CDs in newspaper supplements by hanging these from your trees on string. The changing reflections of light created in a little breeze should keep birds away.
Keep everything tidy
The warm weather and increased sunshine means that weeds are popping up everywhere and can be an eyesore in your garden. Keep an eye on these particularly during dry spells and it will make your garden look much neater. You should also now be cutting the lawn weekly, pruning many spring flowering shrubs and trimming hedges into shape. For bulbs, allow foliage to die down naturally before cutting back to ground level. Keep any waste for your compost bin!
If you’ve been lucky enough to get some relaxation time in the garden, you may have had furniature such as lounger out on your lawn. Be aware that this could damage grass and cause patches of yellow damaged lawn. This is easily prevented simply by moving your lawn furniture regularly. Keep up trimming your lawn regularly, including the edges, and apply fertiliser for a healthy looking growth.
Mid-to-late May is the best time to plant out summer bedding plants. Prepare the soil and use some organic compost to fertilize the soil ready for the new bedding. You do need to keep an eye on the long term weather forecast when doing this. A late strong frost can put pay to your hard work. You can keep plants in the greenhouse until the weather improves and move them out towards the end of the month. Just make sure they’re well watered. The greenhouse should be well aired, vented and shaded during the day so that these plants don’t over heat in warm weather. The same rules apply for hanging baskets. You can plant these from April onwards, but until the last sign of frost has passed you may want to protect them in the greenhouse. If you don’t have one, hold off planting until the end of May. Line your basket well and add a fertilizer rich compost soil. There are plenty of varieties to choose from but trailing plants work well for covering the sides of your basket. Water well, add fertilizer weekly and keep any eye out for pests!
You may find you need to clip any hedging and topiary now to keep its shape neat and tidy. The warmer weather will also mean regular mowing of the lawn will be a necessity now. Through the summer months, once a week should be sufficient. Keep on top this and your garden will look tidy all summer!
Deal with weeds
As the temperatures rise your prized plants will spring to life, but unfortunately so will any unwanted weeds! Pull up any seedlings and dig out perennial weeds with a fork to try and get rid of any roots. Time and effort spent on these perennial weeds will benefit not only your borders but also your lawn. May is the ideal time to identify those nasty dandelions and deal with them.
If you have a pond, pond weed is equally important to deal with and should be removed regularly before it becomes too difficult to manage and harmful to pond life. Make sure you leave any weeds by the side of the pond for a good while before removing just in case any pond life is hiding there! May is a great time to begin stocking ponds with fish. Just make sure any aquatic plants have established first.
Keep an eye on growth
Many growing plants may need your attention this month, add plenty of feed to keep them happy. Tall perennials may need trellis and support as they start to grow to keep them straight and upright. It is also important to tie up your clematis to control their climbing in the direction you would like them to grow. For rambling roses, try and tie as horizontal as possible. This will restrict the flow of sap and increase side shoots, thus causing more flowers. Spring flowered Montana type clematis need pruning after flowering to keep them tidy.
April is a great time to think about your summer garden. There’s still a few months left of spring but it won’t be long until the weather improves, in theory. Add some seating areas and get your summer garden furniture now. You’ll be immediately prepared to take advantage of any sunshine we get.
You can start planting summer-flowering bulbs out from mid-April. The winter
months are over and we can expect far less harsh conditions for your plants. Keep an eye on the weather however as frost is always a possibility. If the weather forecast looks chilly, keep your bulbs inside until it perks up a bit. Shrubs and spring flowering bulbs will appreciate a bit of feeding at this time of year in preparation for the growing season.
The first green shoots of new growth are very susceptible to damage from slugs and snails. Container grown plants can be protected by copper rings around pots. Slug pellet application is always effective however a gravel barrier/border can also be a natural deterrent. Weeds will also become an increasing problem with the weather improvements so keep those under control.
The weather will begin to improve and provide a suitable climate for preparations for summer flowering bulbs and the ideal platform for tidying up your borders/shrubs after the long winter. Deadhead spring bedding plants and remove tired winter bedding. Prune shrubs and hedges now before the birds begin to nest to encourage healthy new growth. All deciduous shrubs need pruning as soon as they have flowered. Often the most leggy and untidy shrubs can be pruned hard now to create a much neater and compact specimen.
Treat the Lawn
April is the most important month when caring for your Lawn. Your lawn will need cutting approximately twice a week by mid-April. Think about sowing new lawns or repairing any bare patches. Applying feed at the start of the month will be beneficial for stronger growth. In a mild period, apply feed evenly and economically. Use a wheeled distributor if possible. Now is also the perfect time to apply weed killer to your lawn.
Get your trellis prepared for climbing plants
Now is the time to put up trellis in preparation for your existing or planned climbing plants. Soon your Clematis or Honeysuckle will burst into life and demand climbing assistance.
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Few shrubs/plants will add the elegance and beauty to the British garden quite like a Rose. Roses are available in a wide number of colours, shapes and sizes. They are grown for their attractive and often fragrant flowers, flowering mainly in summer and autumn. Discover when and how to plant Roses with our easy gardening guide.
How to Plant Roses
Dig a hole large enough to take the roots when fully outspread. Distribute the roots evenly round the hole. Put in a little fine soil to which has been added a small amount of bone meal.
Fill in a further 5cm of ordinary soil over the roots and tread in firmly. Tread in additional soil firmly at each stage as the hole is filled. If they are not the winds of winter will loosen the roots. This may cause the newly planted rose to die.
Generally speaking, the depth of holes for planting roses will vary between 10-20cm. But examination of the plants will show quite clearly the depth to which they were originally planted.
How to Prune Roses
Prune bush Roses in mid-March up to the second week of April. Floribunda Roses are a little tenderer and need pruning one week later than the above dates.
Prune HT Roses back hard in the spring. As long as the roots are firmly established, leaving only three or four eyes per stem. If left unpruned they will die back along the stem and perish or produce leggy poor specimens.