June 22


As we near the summer equinox, the days are stretching, giving us the most time of the year to spend in the garden.

Now that we have reached June, we can start thinking about buying and planting out summer bedding plants to give that extra boost of interest and colour to enjoy.

Bedding Plants with Ewen
Bedding Plants and Ewen

Some of you may, of course, have been busy since March sowing seeds and be glad that it is now time to get them planted out.

If you don’t already do so, why not plant out some herbs or vegetables in your herbaceous borders or in pots. Different types and colours of Lettuce, Rocket, Chard, and Spring Onions will add colour and interest to the garden, not to mention that you will have fresh salad leaves to hand when required. Adding perennial herbs to the garden will also be very useful and have culinary use. Planting both Fennel and Lovage at the back of a border will add height and interest. It is not too late to plant some potatoes into large containers and to have a couple of boiling of tatties in the Autumn. Why not try a Gooseberry, Blueberry or currant bush in a border, again, it will add interest and enjoy some of your five a day.

June is a busy time in the garden, and there are many things to do. First, the grass needs to be cut, and the more often, the better the grass looks. Next, the edges need to be kept tidy and trimmed to prevent the grass from growing into the beds.

I have been a keen gardener for nearly all of my life. I had my own ‘patch’ from around the age of four or five. For many gardeners like me, the ethos has always been to the removal of weeds, a constant battle in some cases. Now, the question is, what is a weed? Well, what is a weed? A weed is a plant that is growing in the wrong place and therefore needs to be removed. Some of these ‘weeds’ are indeed very attractive and prolific seeders and thus spread rapidly, sometimes choking out much-prized plants. Likewise, Nettles seed and spread with the help of their robust root system. It is quite acceptable now to have some Nettles in the garden, as they attract Butterflies. Even Dandelions and the dreaded Ground Elder can be purchased from a Garden Centre. Ground Elder has lovely white flowers on 2ft stems.

Now, it is fashionable to have these ‘weeds’ because they are now recognised as ‘Wild Flowers’, which they have always been. If you want to have ‘Wild Flowers’ in your garden, and there are some really beautiful ones, growing them in a separate area or even in pots is best. You can purchase various mixes. And some attract Bees, Butterflies and most mixes will attract most insects. Most come in different-sized packets, and others come in mat form, which I like to use. You can also buy packs of individual varieties, and there are hundreds to choose from. Remember, not all will survive here and always re-seed the following year, as many of the seeds will be eaten or it will just be too cold to germinate.

Moving away from June and looking ahead to the Autumn, you need to start thinking about late colour and interest. This can be achieved by planting Dahlias and Gladioli, and there are many varieties available for each. Dahlias offer lots of colours, styles and sizes, and you can have ‘cactus’, ‘pom pom’ ‘decorative’, ‘cart wheel’ ‘, water lily’ and ‘anemone’ and many more. All will flower from August until the frosts. You can plant straight into the garden now or ‘bring’ on in pots and plant them out later. There is a vast range of Gladioli, too, and you treat them in the same way.

Early June is an excellent time to prune spring-flowering shrubs like Spirea, Forsythia Philadelphus and Mahonias if you feel they need to be kept to a specific size. However, these will flower (next year) on this year’s new growth, so leaving pruning them until the Autumn will result in fewer or no flowers next year. It would be best if you also looked to cut back into the centre to thin out the shrub every 2-3 years.

Anyway, June is a busy time for Gardeners, but remember to take some time to enjoy the garden.


Photo by Caroline Trotter Photography