By Sarah Milne
July is often one of the hottest months of the year and the perfect time to enjoy your outside living space and garden.
Make sure you keep plants well watered, using grey water such as bath water or washing up water where possible, and keep an eye on weeds. You can now see what plants are working well in the garden – from a colour mix and landscaping perspective.
Still looking for inspiration? Take a trip to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, July 8-13, and visit the special area Your Garden, Your Budget created in collaboration with the Association of Professional Landscapers. They created showcase gardens that give practical solutions to design problems faced by home gardeners, and across a range of budgets.
A plant loved by landscapers and novice gardeners alike for its colour and structure is the Salvia. It’s also a favourite of BBC Gardener’s World presenter Pippa Greenwood.
“I’m a great fan of the hardier salvias. Even before the buds open they are attractive plants with erect stems, often with aromatic foliage, and forming a sort of clump of exclamation marks. Then, when the flowers appear, usually in shades of violet, purple, pink or white, they bring any sunny border to life instantly.
“Provide the plants with a well-drained but humus-rich soil and plenty of sun, and they are easy to grow, seriously rewarding and simply gorgeous!”
Salvias are long-flowering, with the potential to put on a great show from June through much of the summer and into autumn. If you remove the flower spikes as soon as they have faded – or give the entire plant a serious haircut as soon as the last of the flowers fade – they will keep flowering and you can often enjoy a second flush of flowers in October.
“They are much loved, not only by gardeners but also by bees and butterflies.”
Although July is a time to put your feet up and relax in the garden, a few tasks will keep you busy.