The Village Gardener

Early Summer. And with Winter becoming a distant memory, the long wait is over, and our gardens are bursting into life.

Our green spaces can be very demanding at this time of year, with the longer days and the warmer weather, lawns, borders and hedges are all vying for our attention.

Lawned areas go in and out of fashion on what seems like a weekly basis, but for me they are a great addition to many gardens. Whether it’s a grassy path winding between the borders and beds or a larger space fit for the croquet mallet, basic lawn care is quite simple.

Taking Care of Garden Concept. Garden Plants and Grass Mower in the Background.

Keep the setting high on the mower. Cutting too low will only stress the grass and encourage moss growth.

2.5 inches is a good height to aim for to ensure a healthy thatch strong enough to compete with any moss growth.

Keep your edges strimmed and borders edged, it’s amazing how great any garden will look with a good sweeping definition between lawn and border.

And finally, to keep your lawn green and healthy a good lawn feed is a great help.

Technology has moved on a pace, and with the environment in mind there are some great organic slow release feeds on the market, feeding the grass for a longer period with the added benefit of bacterial additives, naturally removing the moss.

Seems like witchcraft I know, but it really does work.

Borders are filling out with all your beautiful blooms, and the weeds are loving it too!

Little and often is the answer.

If you haven’t started yet, then a first big push maybe required to get rid of the pesky little blighters first. The trick then is to keep on top of them.

A long-handled hoe is a great friend on a sunny day. Don’t go too deep or you will start removing moisture from the soil. A gentle shallow run over the surface will remove the young “weedlings” and the sun will do the rest, shrivelling them up to bother you no more.

Keep that up once a week with maybe the odd hands on knees job for the more delicate areas around the plants and you will be rewarded with healthy, happy plants, romping away and eventually filling those spaces locking out the light and out competing the intruders.

Another important job that will continue all season long is dead heading. One of my favourite weekly jobs, unless the flowers have gone to seed and you don’t want any more of that plant, I just leave them to rot away into the beds, it all helps!

Keep removing the spent blooms to encourage more flower growth. Unless you are growing for an ornamental seed head or a fruit, regular dead heading will keep your little bit of paradise vibrant all the way through the Summer.

Lastly, Hedges. The easiest subject matter at this time of year.

Don’t do anything……………

Ok, they may be looking a bit straggly, but that’s ok.

As well as beautiful boundary markers and great ornamental backdrops, I like to think of my hedges as our feathered friend’s hotel, with new arrivals on the way we don’t want to be disturbing the family home. After all, the Blackbird and the Robin, the Blue Tit and the cheeky Sparrow are the guardians of our gardens, devouring all those nasty beasties chomping on the Dahlias.

Look after them and they’ll look after you.

Most importantly this time of year is to enjoy the garden … Grab a chair, any chair, get out, lay back with a glass of something (preferably chilled) breathe deep and enjoy.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and after all, a weed is just a simple wild flower, nature’s gift, growing in the wrong place. X