Your Garden in August

Keeping Up Appearances

We can all have ‘bad hair days’ but at this time of year it is up to you to help your garden keep up appearances and not let the bad hair days take over! By late summer some of those lovely summer-interest flowers will be looking rather forlorn so your beds and borders will really benefit from some help.

A good pair of secateurs, some shears and garden snips are tools you’ll put to good use pretty well throughout the gardening year and right now they’re perfect for dead-heading, taking out stems which have just flopped and faded too much and giving a ‘hair cut’ to late flowering herbaceous perennials.

Combine this with regular and thorough watering and feeding with a high-potash fertiliser (one which is formulated to encourage flowering) and your plants will look good for longer.

A tidy up now will also help you to keep an eye out for pests such as slugs and to see if there are any gaps you could fill with new plants and where you could underplant with a selection of spring-flowering bulbs (which should be in garden centres by mid-August.)

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Outdoor Room

At this time of year, I always feel that the best place to be is out in the garden, and the more inviting you can make your outdoor space, the more it can be enjoyed by your family and friends too. Scented plants are always a welcome addition to any garden, and when planted in or around seating or alfresco-dining areas they can be the real jewel in the crown.

Choose plants suitable for the space you have to offer, so consider whether the soil is heavy, light and sandy or in between, and how sunny or shaded it is. How about some climbers to train over an arbour, arch or fence, perhaps one of the many perfumed honeysuckles or a jasmine?

For some lower-to-the-ground colour some of my scented favourites include many phlox and the chocolate cosmos. Don’t forget that plants can also provide some wonderful evening perfume too, perfect if you plan to enjoy some summer evenings in your garden – and these climbers, and many others you’ll find in your local garden centre or nursery will provide this added bonus too!

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