English Country Gardener

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Summer Gardens

 

Picture of Gloriosa growing in my conservatory

Picture of Gloriosa growing in my conservatory

I love summer, its this time of year you get to reap the joys of all your hard work, your veggies are edible, your summer bulbs are out, perennials are excelling themselves and of course those annual seeds you decided last minute to sow are showing themselves now. There is something magical with summer gardens, its this time of year when it is warm that the fair weather gardener loves to get out into the garden to potter about. It makes us all feel so much more alive and healthier. I say this but I am writing this outside in the garden in the sun with a large chocolate bar that I seem to have munched, I’ve been busy working in the garden all morning plus taking the doggies for a long walk so I felt I had earn’t it, although now I feel a little sick.

 

Gardening to me is about the beauty, the smell and the way it makes you feel. Many people see gardening as a chore, but with the right sort of garden it really doesn’t have to be like that. I’m not talking here about the no dig theory or simply just having grass or heaven forbid just gravel. I’m taking about having a beautiful garden that mostly looks after itself, so you can wait until its warm to potter about. Many plants are generally classed as low maintenance, most ornamental grasses, some self seeding annuals, shrubs and trees, but also your climbers and some perennials. You can make your garden as complicated or as high maintenance as you like. The best thing to do is buy the right plants for you, not because you like the look of a plant and get it home to realise its going to grow too big, or it needs acidic soil and you have alkaline. If you do your research first it will pay off in the long term. Rather than me going on the RHS have written an article on how to achieve a low maintenance garden, so check it out if this is something of interest to you. Low maintenance gardens by the RHS.

But for those keen gardeners who like me will spend hours happily in the garden, I still like to have some element of low maintenance or as i call it naturalism. Let nature take its course.

Picture of Helianthus annuus

Picture of Helianthus annuus

A great way to get interested in gardening is gardening with kids. Kids love to grow sunflowers, pumpkins, sweet pea and beans. I wrote an article on gardening with children earlier in the year, check it out Children Gardening. Gardening in the summer with kids is great, they love to pick the vegs and fruit that they sowed earlier on in the year and eat it straight off the plant, (I hope you cook some of them first). Its so important that children learn more about growing their own food, and enjoying it. There are so many fun things you can do in the garden, one of my lectures told me she told her kids to always pick the yellow flowers growing in the grass, a way to reduce the dandelion population, but fun. I’ve listed just a few things you can do with your kids in the garden.

  • Sow fruit and vegetables
  • Sow annuals eg sunflowers
  • Make bug hotels
  • Make garden dens (we had a Cotoneaster tree we called the helicopter)
  • Painting flower pots
  • growing cress in egg shells
  • Making bird scarers
  • Learning photography

Gardening in the summer is so therapeutic, if you work in an office there is nothing better than to come home and potter about in your garden, not doing anything strenuous, just dead heading and pulling a few weeds that you missed at the weekend. Its a natural way to unwind and relax. Even just sitting in your garden with a glass of wine or lemonade and looking at the summer flowers showing off.  Right that said i’m going to pick some sweet peas to put on the dinning table.

 

Picture of Sweet Peas

Picture of Sweet Peas

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