Gardeners’ World – July 2022

What a beautiful time of year in the garden, so much colour and lush growth. Many people have pots of plants for the summer, and the bigger the pot the better, they don’t dry out so quickly and usually you need only water them 3 times a week. Water to the top of the pot, so leave space when planting.

One of my favourite plants is Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’, a perennial wallflower; mine has flowered all through the winter. However it is not  long lasting; after a few years  it becomes woody, so I take cuttings each year in July. Cuttings root easily and any spare can be given away.

I also take 3-4 inch cuttings now from Dianthus (pinks). I strip off the bottom leaves, cut at a node and plant in gritty compost; I put 4 in a pot. The old fashioned white ‘Mrs Simpkins’ has a beautiful perfume, a favourite of mine, but they come in a variety of colours.

Peonies are in full bloom this month. Often regarded as difficult to transplant and split, but they are usually successful when moved in Sept. The important thing is not to plant them too deep. Plant the tubers just underneath the surface of the soil; too deep and they won’t flower.

The asparagus beetle is a problem this year. It is a small black beetle with white spots which sucks the sap from the stalk and weakens the plant. I check my asparagus every day and usually find a few beetles which I carefully pick off. If disturbed too much they’ll fly away.