It’s been rather an unusual year in the UK. It is currently enjoying one of the warmest and sunniest summers in recent history and looks to continue for a little longer. The jet stream is blocking out cloud and rain and sucking in warm air from Europe. Which might be great for lounging around on the beach and beer and BBQs, but your garden is probably suffering. A lack of rain and soaring temperatures has made it look drab, but there are ways to bring back some colour and life.
Bring Your Houseplants Outside
Your houseplants have been enjoying the cool and the shade indoors, so why not bring them outside to fill in any gaps? Pelargoniums love it outside in the sunshine, as do potted dahlias, cannas and crocosmias. Don’t put them straight out in direct sun. Instead allow them a few days to acclimatise in the shade.
Cut-Back to Allow for Re-Blooms
Many of your cottage garden plants will re-bloom if you cut them back now and give them a little TLC. Lots of water and plenty of liquid feed will give you a fresh flush of leaves and flowers. Delphiniums, lupins, hardy geraniums and group two clematis repeat flower in the summer.
Look for Bargains at the Garden Centre
This time of the year there are some very tempting special offers at the garden centre. They’re keen to get rid of their summer stock. You get to take advantage and fill your garden with fresh colour.
Choose Plants for Structure and Interest
When planning your garden design don’t just go for colourful flowers. Ask any professional garden designer, such as Garden Club London, and they’ll say you should always include a variety of different plants. When the summer has been a dry one, plants with interesting seed heads can add contrast in your garden.
Many of the flowers in your garden will benefit from being deadheaded every couple of days. It will keep the plant flowering for longer and stop your beds looking tired. Cosmos, sweet peas and pelargoniums are just a few examples.
Sow Salad Leaves
Sowing salad leaves into the gaps will provide you with some colour in just a few weeks. Look for seed packets with names such as Red Giant (mustard greens), Red Knight (mizuna), Red Wizard (pak choi) and Red Russian (kale). As well as providing you with some extra colour you’ll have fresh salad from the garden.