Hurrah, beautiful June has arrived – the first month of summer and the most favoured month for weddings.

Time to cast a clout and finish off your planting for frosts are now a thing of the past. Mowing the lawn, watering and feeding will be regular tasks this month but hopefully we will also experience some midsummer heat and be able to sit back and smell the roses.

  • To prevent your plants from getting scorched now is the time to shade your greenhouse. Whether you use blinds, newspaper or white paint, shading is really important for the health of the plants growing inside.
  • Continue to remove the side shoots from cordon tomato plants
  • Regular hoeing throughout the month will stop weeks in their tracks.
  • Harden off any indoor grown plants ready for planting out in prepared soil. Those that have already been sitting in a cold frame will be ready to go.
  • Give broad bean plants support and check for signs of black-fly. Remove any growing tips where you find evidence of this pesky pest.
  • Grass cuttings can be spread thickly on veg beds after watering to act as a mulch
  • New potatoes will be ready for lifting. They don’t store as well as main-crop varieties so lift just enough for a meal at a time. Now, where did I plant that mint?
  • Summer bedding can be planted out, pots can be filled and hanging baskets placed in position
  • Cut back yellowed foliage from spring bulbs but mark where they are so you don’t dig them up by mistake

Broad beans will be ready for harvesting from mid-June until the end of summer. Growing vertically, broad bean plants are suited to both large and small gardens, the variety Oscar is even perfect for small patio pots. All broad beans ask for is a sheltered spot, well-drained soil and some growing support. Oh, and they need to be kept well-watered.

broad beans

Picked and cooked when very small the pods can be eaten whole but are usually left until the beans inside can be seen to swell. Pick from the bottom of the plant up and remember that small, young beans taste sweeter. Older, larger beans will probably need to be double podded, i.e. the beans removed from the pod and then gently slipped from their skins. This double podding results in a startlingly bright green bean.

Wonderful served with haloumi, mint and a squirt of lemon at a BBQ, broad beans also mix well with peas and whole young carrots to give a summer veg medley. Lightly boiled, crushed and mixed with feta, olive oil and lemon juice, broad beans will give you the perfect bruschetta topping or add them to asparagus and pea shoots for a tasty green salad.

Broad beans love:

Tomatoes         Mint              Anchovies          Peas                Bacon              Yoghurt      Feta                   Haloumi       Pecorino            Garlic               Lemon            Chicken       Avocado          Carrots         Asparagus

Dahlia LaBella Maggiore

The perfect summer flower, dahlias are wonderfully self-sufficient and will continue flowering long after the blooms on other plants have dropped.

Dahlia LaBella Maggiore is new to our 2018 range and is probably the best dahlias ever! More compact-growing than traditional varieties, with large exhibition quality blooms in a choice of 5 spectacular colours. Perfect for beds and borders, as well as patio containers these flowers will delight the eye whilst also keeping the butterflies and bees happy.

Blossom End Rot

Each year we receive calls from upset customers who have carefully tended their tomato plants only to see the long-awaited fruits start to develop brown/black bottoms. This discolouration increases in size and the bottom of the fruit shrinks to give a flat appearance.

Blossom-end rot is a frequent problem, caused in the main by irregular watering which results in a lack of calcium. Most soils and compost contain plenty of calcium but without a good flow of water it is unable to reach into a plant.

To avoid blossom-end rot keep the soil consistently moist, never allowing it to dry out. If growing in a greenhouse then increase the humidity by ensuring there is adequate ventilation and by damping down the floor during hot weather.

And if blossom-end rot does strike then don’t despair. The affected fruits are doomed so need to be removed but improve your watering regime and subsequent fruits can be saved.

New Introductions

We’re delighted to introduce two new products in time for summer – and they’re showstoppers.

Exclusively launched as plants by our sister company Suttons, the African Marigold Mission Giant is full of bright, lemon-yellow flowers with huge double blooms. Something completely different for your borders, this chrysanthemum-style flower won’t go brown at the centre in the rain like other marigold varieties, and it’s perfect for the back of the border or indoors as a cut flower.

And then there’s the Sunflower Garden Statement… perfect for anyone who prefers not to grow from seed, our new sunflower plants add instant colour to your garden. This big bush of sunshine produces many different heads on lots of stems for months, and it manages to create instant impact without being invasive. Better still, the flowers will attract all kinds of beneficial insects.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

We don’t know about you, but last month’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show has left us heading into June with gusto. This year’s show was all about gardens that inspire wellbeing, and the colour themes were dominated by calming blues and soothing shades. This year’s show was all about the lupin, and there was barely a garden that didn’t showcase the towering beauty of lupins.

There are always a few surprises too, and we spotted the clever use of shrubs for foliage colour and form throughout many of the gardens. In fact, we’re currently growing vibrant acers that are perfect for adding texture to your own borders and are great for contrasting with other shrubs.

Inspired by our time at Chelsea we have created two brand new collections full of some of our favourite perennial plants that we saw at the show to help you create the Chelsea look in your own garden.

Available in packs of 18 or 50 plants, these Chelsea Favourites will provide you with a show worthy display year after year.

Potato Plants

Ever wanted to grow your own potatoes but the thought of growing the tubers has put you off? Planted some in spring but the Beast from East turned them into an unidentifiable mush?

Now, we are pleased to be offering potted potato plants, saving you the hassle of chitting and sprouting seed potatoes. Popular on the continent, this really is the easiest way to start growing your own potatoes and can be grown in any space you have.

Ready to be sent from our Devon nursery now, these 9cm potted plants will reward you with the unbeatable taste of home grown potatoes this summer. And with 3 different varieties available – Maris Peer, Charlotte and Nicola – you can buy any 3 packs of 6 plants for just £18 – that’s only £1 a plant!

Plant of the Month

One of our favourite things at this years Chelsea Flower Show were these Armeria Ballerina, used to stunning effect in many of the gardens. Available in a range of colours including white, red and purple, the compact and uniform plants are topped with globe-shaped blooms and are very free-flowering.

To add the finishing touch to your garden, we’ll send you two 9cm potted Armeria Ballerina plants free – when you spend £30 or more and use offer code ARMERIAS18 at the basket stage.

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