by Elizabeth Davies
The gardens have suffered from hot, dry weather in July, but the roses have been wonderful and now is the time to do lots of dead-heading. Cut back to a leaf bud, shaping the bush at the same time, not just cutting off the dead heads. A sprinkling of Fish, Blood and Bone will help to get a second flowering on some roses. A lot of roses have suffered from rust this year, unfortunately there is no cure but to pick off as many leaves as possible and burn or dispose of them – but not on the compost heap.
It is also time to cut back some perennials such as oriental poppies and perennial geraniums; cut them right to the ground, and they will re-grow and possibly flower again. There is still time to sow biennials such as foxgloves, lupins and delphiniums to flower next year. Water any new trees regularly and keep on watering for the first two years.