//Philippa’s Newsletter – June 2018

Philippa’s Newsletter – June 2018

My Garden by Philippa Thomas

Our longest day of the year is June 21st.  Our extra warmth and light encourages our gardens to put on an exuberant burst of growth.  The risk of frost has passed but maybe pause a thought for 10/11 weeks ago or so, Our Incredible Dalkey In Our Incredible Snow.  And on this note, many plants are tougher or more obliging than we worry about and even up to today, see what I thought we had lost in our severe snowy conditions – , with new fresh green struggling growth.  …So, with our extra light and warmth weeds will sprout up from seemingly nowhere.  Try and keep on top of them by hoeing regularly in dry conditions.

Hopefully, this June will bring long sunny days, allowing us to reap the benefits of our Spring preparations with an abundance of growth and lush bright incredible colours.  Particular attention should be given to anything newly planted as it is imperative that they do not dry out while they are settling in – so water possibly, is a vital part of our garden maintenance presently.  Each day in the garden some new beauty shakes out the crease in her petals.  Today, it is the turn of some poppies and the scarlet taffeta of these oriental beauties is brightly blazing in the hot mid-day sun – what a sight against the various sound levels of bird song.  …Now, enjoy planting up your containers, hanging baskets, plants etc.  I heard on the radio this afternoon, how a former Consumer Research Manager found his Lifeline In Gardening; “It became my medicine.  My physical and mental state significantly improved and it was clear in my mind that gardening was something so special.”, so keep weeding and deadheading in order to maintain beds, borders, displays and water new and young plants before our Summer really heats up.  …Sowing made in curves rather than straight lines often creates a more pleasing effect.

Maybe, Rediscover the Romance of Roses

June is our month for rapturous roses.  Every rose will bring you weeks of pleasure this Summer and for so many years to come.  …Remember, roses can suffer from black-spot, rust and powdery mildew – all fungal diseases which thrive in damp, warm weather.  …Their new flower buds are also very attractive to greenfly, whitefly and blackfly, all of these problems can be addressed by spraying with a combined fungicide/pesticide such as Rose Rescue or Rose Clear Ultra.  Remove any leaves showing signs of disease, then an application of rose feed with enriched horse manure will ensure both good flowering as well as a healthy immune system for fighting pest and diseases.

Think, Just A Thought – Not Fantastic Plastic

Seed trays, pots, modules in black and green etc., plastic cloches, plant labels, fertiliser containers, compost sacks.  …These cracked pots that I binned yesterday could have been somewhere out there, more than three hundred years from now – maybe even in our Pacific Ocean poisoning our sea bed life.  So maybe, consider going back to the 19th century gardener – they gardened in a pre-plastic world.  …But then, aren’t clay pots and wooden trays such a delight.  Yes, they need gentler handling, cleaning etc. but they are things of beauty and such a pleasure to use.

Do You Know  ???

Seed tapes have carefully spaced seeds impregnated between two layers of paper.  They work well if lightly buried with soil and kept well watered so the germinating seedlings can get through.  They are quick and easy for gardening with children.  The best selection of seed tape is available online.

Do You Know  ???

There are approximately 60,065 tree species on this Earth.  Wild populations of more than three hundred species are down to fewer than fifty individuals.

Do You Know  ???

That Phlox grows so well on moist-ish sandy soil (even a North facing bed) – such a site to us gardeners is like gold dust.  The cooler shade helps them keep their perfume longer.  Excellent varieties and ten out of ten are: –

Orange-red, Prince of Orange and Monica Lynden Bell which has pale pink flowers contrasting well with darker foliage.  David has awesome white flowers that re-flower and re-flower.  Mount Fundi – , another excellent white.


Griller was bred to be cut lengthwise and then cooked on the barbeque.  It comes in three colours; green, yellow and pale green.  The oval fruits have firm flesh and are so easy to turn on the barbeque.  These bushy plants have smooth stems so are pain-free to pick.

A New Herb – Wasabi Rocket

A rocket salad leaf with a fiery taste of Wasabi and can be grown year round.

Turn Up The Beet – Beetroot

The increasing popularity of beetroot in restaurants, ready-meals and juices suggest it has become a so-called superfood.  Rich in nutrients, beetroot is easy to grow and can supply baby roots and salad leaves too – and all from a single row of seeds.  It will even grow in a pot.  Plants need little maintenance other then watering during extended dry spells to ensure they do not bolt.

Choice Cultivars

  1. Boltardy – the most popular and won’t bolt.
  2. Bulls Blood, ornamental and could be grown in a flower border – it has deep purple leaves.
  3. Chiggia, candy-striped beetroot and is perfect for slicing raw – its red and white rings are so attractive in salads.
  4. Bettolla and Bona earned the award of Garden Merit in 2016.

Might Do Maybe June Jobs

  1. Maybe add splashes of bright colour and contrasts of form to your plantings, Verve.
  2. Pinch out the tips of your fuchsias to encourage a bushy habit and more flowers.
  3. Feed your lawn, it will instantly green up and will help strengthen it for extra traffic during our Summer.
  4. Centipedes are a gardener’s friend. They kill soil pests when they hunt at night.  Maybe provide some cool damp places such as log piles to encourage more to live in your garden.
  5. Towards the end of June, if your hardy geraniums have finished flowering, cut them back to encourage new foliage and flowers.
  6. Alyssum and Aubretia, trim back after flowering to prevent plants looking tatty.
  7. Trim Clematis Montana if it’s outgrowing its allotted space. A hedging shears is the thing to reduce long whipping growth.

“No price is set on the lavish Summer, June maybe had by the poorest comer.”

James Russel Lowell

“The quiet stars came out, one by one, the Holy twilight fell upon the sea, the Summer day was done.”

Celia Thaxter


“From a small seed, a mighty trunk may grow”

2018-08-16T14:58:33+00:00May 20th, 2018|