It seems no time at all since those dark and wet days of early spring - polytunnels full to the brim with fresh seedlings, and the hope and optimism that gardening brings for our staff and service users at Workbridge garden centre.
We have all experienced the preoccupations and worries of Coronavirus over many months since. Our service users have been staying safe at home and for a short while, the garden centre closed its doors in line with government measures. Thankfully, we are back open again and ready to support our local community of gardeners and allotment owners once again!
New in at Workbridge Garden Centre: Alpine Teapots! Upcycled using donated teapots...
The month of July in the garden - "Gardening is like painting. I have filled my canvas and I can now stand back and appreciate the detail and the colours in full."
July means full summer is upon us. It's a wonderful time of year in our gardens. Everything is full of scent and colour, buzzing with bees and the flutter of butterflies. The Workbridge garden centre shop and nursery are bursting with beautiful blooms!
For me, gardening is like painting, I have filled my canvas and I can now stand back and appreciate the detail and the colours in full. Unlike a painting though, gardens are not frozen in time, they are organic, living spaces that always require some attention and care. I am already thinking about next year’s canvas and like most gardeners, I am never fully satisfied.
Don't forget to water during dry spells especially your pots and baskets. Try to give them a good soak less often rather than a light spraying every day.
· July is a time to cut back early flowering perennials such as hardy geraniums, lupins and delphiniums to encourage a second flush of flower later in the year.
· Early flowering annuals and biennials can be removed now their glory has faded and the seeds collected.
· Cuttings can be taken from tender perennials such as salvias and pelargoniums.
· Seeds can be sown for biennials such as foxgloves, sweet williams, canterbury bells and forget-me-nots for planting out in the autumn.
· There is also still time to fill any gaps with cosmos, nicotiana and zinnias.
Gardening for wildlife - July is also a busy time for wildlife.
If you have a pond, clear away any algae or blanket weed and top it up if necessary. Don't forget to keep feeding the birds in your garden.
You can give bees a mid-summer boost by planting lavender, bergamot and other bee friendly perennials that are in flower now. We can help you source the right plants too.
Grow your own food - Nothing tastes fresher than home grown vegetables.
At Workbridge, we have recently set up an allotment and the fruits of our labour are coming to fruition! We hope to be selling home grown courgettes, chillies and lettuce very soon.
If you have an allotment or vegetable patch then chances are you are enjoying some of your own produce by now. There is still sowing to be done for successive crops of lettuces, radishes and your last sowing of peas (make sure this is done in early July). Fast growing herbs such as coriander, dill and parsley can also still be sown. Winter crops such as broccoli, cabbages, cauliflowers and leeks can be planted out now too.
For your chillies or tomatoes growing, don't forget to feed them weekly with a tomato or seaweed feed to keep them fruiting abundantly.
July is a fabulous month for gardeners and the most important job this month is to enjoy your garden! Fill a vase with freshly picked flowers or throw together a simple salad from the veggie patch, pour a glass of something refreshing, relax and savour the summer.