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.
- 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?)
- 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…
- 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
- Add compost or sea soil to areas of heavy feeding
- 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?
- 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.
- 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?
- 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
- 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
- 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…
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…
Planning & Events
- Sooke Secret Garden Tour (usually the first sunday in June)
- View Royal Garden Club ‘s Summer Show is a great opportunity to check out what is possible in a Victoria garden. (Usually the third Saturday in June)
- Music on the Lawn –enjoy the Government House gardens while listening to an evening of live music (Usually thursday evenings in July)
© SVSeekins, 2014