June is the centre of the year – the pivot. After the rush of spring growth, the season tips in to a lazier mood. This May has been phenomenally warm and dry. The reservoirs are low. Watering is essential for newly planted shrubs and trees, not to mention seedling annuals and vegetables. Water thoroughly but not too often. This is when water-butts prove their worth.
The cottage garden looks and smells terrific this month. Roses start their season, with ramblers and species roses being prolific. Pinks abound, balanced by the cool blues of those stalwarts such as delphinium, geranium and the perennial cornflower. I love the biennials like Canterbury bells, honesty and foxgloves. They pop up exactly where they please, sometimes in large groups, sometimes in singles, always unpredictable, even when you sow seeds.
Sow night scented stock. It is quite a dull looking plant, but that scent on warm evenings is divine.
June meadows are at their peak. Grasses are coming into flower looking silky in the wind. If you have a spring flowering meadow, now is the time to get it cut. Watch out for frogs if you are using a mower, they tend to crouch down rather than hop away. As a spring meadow flowers are perennials there is no need to leave the hay to drop its seed before collecting. Unless you are using Yellow Rattle to weaken the grass, in which case it is worth buying fresh seed and scratching it into bare patches in July. Keep cutting the grass from time to time until the autumn, leaving the blades on the highest possible notch.
Early this month cut back geraniums and lady’s mantle for a second flush of flowers later in the year.
PS. I now have an Instagram account, if you would like to see my posts search for Jacquetta Menzies.