Celebrating the month of the rose

Despite an unseasonal start to the year, June still sees the change from spring to summer.

There is all the tidying up to do from the spring flowers which have now died back. This ranges from cutting back the daffodil, tulip, and other bulb leaves to pruning spring flowering shrubs such as lilacs or philadelphus.

However, it’s not just the plants which are past their best which need attention; this is also the romantic month of roses. They are prone to pests and diseases, and the best way of combating them is to keep a close eye on the leaves. Aphids can be sprayed and disease affected leaves removed and thrown away. Ramblers or climbers will need tying in, and suckers shooting up from the bottom and looking distinctly out of place on bush and standard roses will need removing.

There will be plenty of vegetables to sow and harvest this month, including (to sow), marrows, butternut squash, peas, beans, and sweetcorn. We’ll be planting out our pumpkins shortly for our Pumpkin Festival in the autumn.

Growing herbs such as basil, parsley, or chives outside can be easily started by putting a few potted herbs from a supermarket into a large container with fresh soil. If you are growing in containers – and especially if you are planting up a hanging basket, I strongly advise the use of water retaining crystals.

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