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Trim and bouff your garden

Hey you, sparko on your sunlounger! Your summer garden needs a tidy up. Here's where to focus your green-fingered efforts (or get someone else in to do it!).

High summer gardening isn’t too arduous – there’s none of the major tree pollarding that needs doing in winter, or a full-on spring planning and planting programme – it’s more about maintenance to keep things looking sleek and healthy. A trim and tidy rather than a major restyle and full head of highlights, basically. Nothing particularly ‘wow!’ or glam, but necessary all the same.
I’m seriously tempted to get a gardener in for a day to blast through all the jobs, while I stay put on that sun lounger (lazy, moi?). They bring everything with them, tidy up afterwards and it’s surprisingly affordable – less than a cut and a head of highlights, actually!
The Oxfordshire Gardener‘s Simon is a jardin genius (he does everything from daily ‘rent-a-gardener’ right up to full stately home garden landscaping and planting), so I tapped him up for the lowdown on the essential high summer gardening tasks. Here’s what I’ve learned (apart from the fact I’m definitely getting him to do all the below for me). Secateurs at the ready!
1. Tickle your blooms (not a euphemism)

Idiot like me watch the first bloom of summer flowers, ooh and ahh them and then basically ignore them for the rest of the season. What you should be doing now is feed your flowers after the first bounty of blooms is over to continuously encourage health, growth and prolific flowering through to late summer. Think about flowering plants that can be divided and replanted (eg bearded irises) – this can save money as you’re creating plants rather than having to buy new ones.

2. Beds and borders TLC

Give your beds and border some time attention – this is a good time for dead-heading, weeding and maintaining strong supports for voluminous perennials. Check your plants for the 3Ds – dead, diseased and damage and keep a beady eye on pests (no, I don’t mean your children).

 

3. Love your lawn

Tend to your grass with regular mowing and edging, and give it a feed to promote growth – summer lawns in particular need nutrients. Edging is, let’s face it, deathly dull but it can make a massive difference to its appearance. Get someone else to do it, I say!

 

4. Tidy terrace, tidy mind (er, maybe)

It might sound weird but my favourite chore, bar none, is pressure-washing my patio – it’s so very satisfying to blast the gunk away and see the sparkling clean tiles underneath. Now’s a good time to spruce up those patios and terraces, and keep them weed-free.

 

5. Hedging your bets

Whether they’re newly planted or fully mature and established, your hedges need pruning and feeding… and sculpting into phallic shapes to scandalise your neighbours. Not that I’d ever do that, obviously.

Find more ideas here

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