June Garden Activities

lychnis in bloom garden Victoria BC
photo by SVSeekins

The deer are back in full force. Their little ones are adventurous enough to taste EVERYTHING.  So if I want  any chance of keeping a few blooms to enjoy,  I’ll have to get busy spraying.

 

Seed Saving

  • After the flowers finish up, the plant sets seed.  Before the pods open, I pick & distribute them into areas where I’d like to see more next year.
    eg: foxglove, snapdragon, lupin, delphinium…
  • Helebore seed pods dangle below their leaves.  They’ll spread slowly, so I let them self seed where I want more, but otherwise I trim them up for a tidier look. (Do I have control issues perhaps?)

Seed Avoiding

  • Cut back the euphorbia after their big show.  Believe me, letting them self seed in the garden is sheer folly.  These garden thugs spread easily enough through underground  runners.
  • Similarly, Dead-heading is also useful in another way: shearing off the spent blooms can spur plants into another flush of flowers.
    eg. hardy geraniums, lady’s mantle…
Peony -cu- new blooms
photo by SVSeekins

Pruning

  • Rhododendrons are the last of the spring-flowering shrubs.  When they need shaping or size control, I do it now so they’ll recover over the summer
  • Now that the show is over, prune back the long wispy vines of wisteria to about 5 buds

Fertilizing

blooming alium lutea, ceanothus and red hot pokers in june garden victoria bc
photo by SVSeekins
  • Add compost or sea soil to areas of heavy feeding

Planting

  • It’s tempting to buy lots of new plants at this time of year. I try to keep in mind that all new plants, even drought tolerant ones, need watering during the first couple seasons. Their roots haven’t reached deep into the soil where the moisture stays, so they need surface water every couple of days.  Do I really need that new shrub?  Or do I want to go camping?

    climbing rose in bloom garden Victoria BC
    photo by SVSeekins

Irrigation

  • Despite the spring rains, the ground dries out quickly this month.  Water slowly and deeply so that the moisture soaks in rather than rolling off the top of the soil.
  • Baskets & pots dry out quickly. They can benefit from a drink every day.
  • A good top-dressing of mulch sure helps keep the moisture in the soil where roots can get it, rather than having all that water evaporate in the sunshine.

Weeding

California Poppy - many blooms garden Victoria BC
photo by SVSeekins
  • Wander through the beds pulling the weeds. Try not to stir up the soil too much, as that just brings seeds closer to the surface where they germinate & make more weeds….
  • As it gets warmer the leaves of the colchicum (aka fall crocus) die back, so I clear them away.  By late august  their blooms come as a pleasant reminder of what lurks below…
  • As summer begins, spring is over– and so are the last of the spring bulbs.  It works well that day lilies & hardy geranium have grown up thick enough to hide the dried up leaves.  The bulbs are happily fed, shaded and hibernating until next winter. Sounds backward, doesn’t it?

Perennials

Clematis in bloom garden Victoria BC
photo by SVSeekins
  • Begonias, geraniums, canna lilies & other tender plants that have been over-wintered inside can still be set in the garden early in June. Even tropical house plants can go out to a dappled spot on the deck. It’s amazing how much faster they grow outside in the summer.
  • Now that the bearded iris are finished blooming, I split them & replant with the top length of the rhizome showing (to promote blooming next year).
  • So much growth now that the sun has come.  Dahlias, gladioli & delphiniums may need staking

    fringecup in bloom garden Victoria BC
    photo by SVSeekins

Lawns

  • Keeping the mower blade above 2 inches will provide a lush lawn, but give the grass’ roots a little shade so they don’t dry out so quickly
  • If you water the lawn 1 inch of water every two weeks, it’ll still will turn the color of straw in the heat of summer but will bounce back super quickly after temperatures cool in fall.

Veg & Berry Patch

a strawberry bonanza garden Victoria BC
photo by SVSeekins
  • Woo hoo !!  All of our indoor starts are outside & growing like mad!
  • Enjoy all the activity & pay off!  It’s harvest time for rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries … peas… salad greens… baby beets….
  •  Beans, squash and corn take off quickly in the warm soil & longer hours of sunshine.
  • If there’s a partially shady spot in your garden, a new round of peas might supply some spring perk in the heat of summer.  Consider new rounds of greens & beets, too …
  • Strawberries – pinch off runners so the plant concentrates on fruit instead of expansion
  • Garlic will send out scapes in june. Let them bloom if it’s a flower you want, or use the scape in salads or stir fries. The garlic bulb will grow larger if there is no bloom. It’s on it’s growth spurt now before it dies back in July.
  • starts – yup, it’s time to sow winter veg.  They do their growing now & survive through the cloudy, cold & wet wintry months.
    eg. kale… parsnips… broccoli…

Seasonal Color

Yucca in bloom garden Victoria BC
photo by SVSeekins

shrubs: roses… weigela…summer heathers… hardy fuchsia… ceanothus (california lilac)…. spirea… viburnum… rock rose… penstemon… ocean spray…
perennials: … peonies… calla lily… Oregon sunshine… clematis… fringe cup… red hot pokers… canterbury bells…  erysium (wall flower)… yarrow… columbine… coreopsis… spiderwort… valerian… astilbe… foxtail lily… day lily… St.John’s Wort… Jerusalem sage… yucca…
ferns: sword… giant chain… deer…
bulbs: allium…

Planning & Events

MS - Hardy Fuchsia in bloom Victoria  BC garden
photo by SVSeekins

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© SVSeekins, 2014

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Happy Commuting

Even without a personal friendship, I LIKE the municipal worker responsible for this piece of art.  It makes me smile.

A street smile sure beats the heck out of road rage, doesn’t it?

But of course there’s the question: graffiti?  public art?

street graffiti or public art victoria bc
photo by SVSeekins

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© SVSeekins, 2014