Seasonal Gardening provides a month by month account of tasks that need to be done in the garden. Our free online guide is packed with hints, tips, helpful projects and useful gardening ideas for every season.
Covering the whole of the UK (Great Britain, England, Scotland & Wales).
What to do this month
propagating your own plants
Now that the weather is warmer (and once the danger of frost is past in your area) it is time to start sowing biennials and perennials outside. Also harden off and plant out bedding plants, containers and hanging baskets to fill your garden with colour.
Continue watering in dry weather and keep on top of weeds until the borders have filled out. Ensure the greenhouse is well ventilated - dampen down and apply shading if necessary.
Don't forget to add much needed plant supports for those tall-growing flowers before they collapse!
Now is an ideal time to start taking cuttings, which is much easier than you think and a great way to increase your stock of flowers, plants and shrubs for free. Six plants that can be easily propagated at this time of year include Catmint, Fuchsias, Pelargoniums, Penstemons, Old-fashioned pinks and Perennial wallflowers (Erysimum).
Although there is plenty of summer colour in the garden this month, you can still plan and sow ready for next year. Hardy biennials, such as Canterbury bells (Campanula medium), foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea) sweet william (Dianthus barbatus) and wallflowers (Erysimum) can all be germinated now, ready for a low cost tapestry of colour next year. Sow hardy biennials directly into nursery patches or borders, where they are to flower, or sow in pots or trays outdoors and plant out into their flowering positions in the autumn.
If you have a water shortage your area and still want to plant containers, then why not plant-up some tender succulents such as aeoniums, crassulas, echeverias, haworthias or mesembryanthemums. These tough little plants will virtually look after themselves all summer - without the need for much watering once established. However, as they are all tender they cannot be put outside until all risk of frost in your area has passed. Be sure to use a free draining compost, such as cactus compost, and top off with gravel, small stones or slate chippings to ensure that the succulent leaves and rosettes do not sit in damp soil.
The Great British Bee count is back again in 2016 and runs from 19 May to 30 June. The count aims to raise awareness about the wide diversity of Britain's bees, the threats they face and what people can do to help them; in particular by creating bee-friendly gardens and other habitats.
TV presenter Michaela Strachan is backing this year's
event. She is joining with
Friends of the Earth to urge people across the UK to
create bee-friendly gardens and other habitats this
spring, to help our bees and other threatened pollinators.
The call for the creation of bee-friendly habitats, is also backed by one of Britain's leading bee experts, Professor Dave Goulson, who warned that the loss of flower meadows and quiet places to nest, was one of the threats bees face.
To participate you can download thee free app and find out how bee-friendly your garden or other open space is, and record the bees you see. Over 100,000 bees were recorded last year.
You get hold of the free Great British Bee Count app here: http://www.greatbritishbeecount.co.uk/
Of all the garden lilies, the Alstroemeria is my all time favourite. With its low growing drifting habit, it spreads through the borders and flowers for such a long season, if dead headed regularly.
Valley Gardens, Harrogate
17 acres of beautifully landscaped, Grade II Listed gardens, situated in the heart of Harrogate. Contains a wide variety of flowering shrubs, plants and mature trees. Prized for its rhododendron edged stream at the bottom of the valley.
Open all year, free to visit