Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland



A month full of colour in the garden
THE month of June can be one of the most colourful of the year. If you strike it lucky the garden should be a riot of colour by mid-June. Early roses, honeysuckle, delphiniums and cranesbills quickly burst into colour to take the place of fading spring perennials. Hanging baskets and window boxes should be hardened off and in full flower. Maybe then, after all the hard preparation work, we can glimpse perfection.

In the glass house or cold frame pay particular attention to plants in clay pots. As the clay pot soaks up a lot of water you may need to water two or three times during dry weather. Maintain a humid atmosphere in the glass house by damping down the floors and staging frequently with water.

Self-sown tree seedlings such as ash and sycamore can be a problem, as they appear in the borders, pathways and next to walls or against the house. If left to grow against a wall of a building, they could cause considerable damage to foundations. Eradicate them by spraying the seedlings with a brushwood killer. This will kill the seedlings down to the roots and prevent regrowth.

At this time of year and through the growing season there is always a chance of house plants being infected with pests, usually greenfly, white fly and scale insects. Take the immediate steps to clear all infested plants outside to the garden where they can be sprayed with an insecticide such as Tumble bug or Malathion, preferably with an aerosol applicator. Take care not to inhale the fine mist and fumes. Always read the instructions carefully before applying to the plant.

Centranthus rubber, more commonly known as valerian, is a prolific self seeder flowering in shades of pink, red and white. This plant is worthy of any garden, tolerating the most inhospitable environments and providing a rich flower display from early to mid summer. It will find a home where little else will grow, its only drawback being a tendency to become invasive.

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