Gardener’s Blog – June 2015
It’s predicted that the sun will be making an appearance this month (and hopefully will stay out for the rest of summer.) June is a busy, but glorious month, at the gardens, as a lot of summer flowers will now start to bloom.
On June 21, we’ll all be enjoying the longest day of the year and our plants certainly will be too. While they absorb the extra daylight, the gardens should have an energetic growth spurt. However, as much as we love seeing our gardens burst with colour and life, those pesky weeds will be out in full force, as well. The gardeners will be doing a lot of weeding to make sure they don’t flower – which will cause even more problems!
Chris and her fellow gardeners have now planted out all of the summer bedding plants. Keep a look out for the geraniums and dragon wing begonia on the Terrace and cosmos near the bandstand. They’ll also be mowing down daffodils once the leaves have turned brown, which highlights the end of spring and the start of summer.
The gardeners will be watering the hanging baskets regularly because they can dry out very quickly when it’s warm or windy. Keep an eye out for them on your next visit; they will be filled with ivy leaved geraniums and moss collected from the American Bank. We’ll also be regularly removing spent flowers to ensure continued flowering throughout the summer.
It’s going to be a month for giving flowers the support to continue growing tall. Sweet peas will be the first to receive the special treatment, tendrils will also be removed so that the energy will only go into the flowers.
The dahlias will also be getting a similar treatment, as the side shoots will be removed this month. The plant won’t have as many flowers this way, but the ones they do have will be much larger. Once they have been removed, they will be tied to stakes or sturdy canes to make sure they don’t break. They will also be watered and fed often, as they are one of the greediest plants in the gardens!
Unlike the rest of the British public, the gardeners will be hoping for a spot of rain this summer to give the Children’s Discovery Garden a helping hand. The area will be sown with flower and grass seed and a little rain will help it grow. The trees in the area have now been thinned out too, which will allow for a lot more light while the children happily play in the sunshine.
The Butterfly House is now open, senior horticulturalist, Wayne has worked very hard to fill the sanctuary with plants and food that butterflies will love. Now that it’s open, he can concentrate on finishing off the Plant Evolution Trail in Sub-Tropical House.
He will also be tending the Orchid Case that will be filling up with various miniature flowering orchids this month such as the orange coloured Ascocentrum miniatum and the yellow Lycaste aromatica, so magnifying glasses at the ready! Try and see how many you can spot on your next visit.
Our head gardener, Chris’s favourite plant for June, is the Philadelphus, the heavenly smell that they produce can be enjoyed all over the Azalea Bank.
Wayne has chosen the Heliconia for his indoor feature. There can be four types found in the Tropical House, but his favourite is the Heliconia rostrata. This particular species has pendant, red and yellow zigzag shaped flowers, which can last for around two to three months.
Remember to snap some pictures of our gardener’s favourite flowers, and some other beauties in June and your photograph could be featured in our 2016 calendar.