Green Tips: garden tasks for June

June is busting out all over with astrantia, woody geraniums, oriental poppies, phlox, delphiniums and the beauties of the Long Border but it’s the roses that take my breath away at this floriferous time of the year.

With more than 5,000 roses at Hever Castle & Gardens, we do ‘go for it’ in June, ahead of our Hever in Bloom festival, which this year concentrates on the rose genus. One of my all time favourite roses quite often greets my nose before I see it: I may be rounding a corner at Hever and the scent of Buxom Beauty nearly knocks me off my feet. The dark pink floral bloom itself is pretty spectacular as it can grow to the size of your hand!

Keep watering

My main advice for roses in June though, is to keep the plants watered (especially if we’re experiencing a dry spell) and to simply enjoy this wonderful flush of blooms.

Rosa Hever

Elsewhere in the garden, if it’s dry then refrain from over-cutting your lawn. If it’s looking a little untidy then you could always just trim the edges – clean lines really make such a difference and enable you to leave the main lawn for a few days longer.

Other garden tasks

June is when you trim your box. Traditionally, gardeners in days gone by would have engaged in this noisy job on Derby Day when their masters were out at the races!

If you’re using hanging baskets this year, then I wouldn’t use cheap and cheerful multi-purpose compost: use one that’s mixed specially for baskets and then at the base of the hanging basket (before you add the soil) place an old saucer – this will help to capture the water and hold it within the basket. Remember to water first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening – never in the daytime.

Jubilee flowers

I’m a huge fan of traditional bedding popularised in the Royal Parks, and in the Jubilee year everyone should get involved! Lobelia, semperflorens, salvias, pink diasicas or million bells for your baskets will provide a floral feast. Don’t despair if you’ve got a dry spot, begonias and pelargoniums will reward you as they hardly need any water.

Rotunda at Hever

See the roses at their peak during Hever in Bloom: 20-26 June.

Neil Miller head gardener at Hever Castle

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