Expert tips: What to do in your garden this June

Audley End gardens

Audley End gardens - Credit: Archant

This year, we celebrate the 300th anniversary of Capability Brown’s birth, a chance to rediscover his vision and role in our national culture.

William Tomkins painting

William Tomkins painting - Credit: Archant

Lancelot “Capability” Brown was commissioned at Audley End in 1763 to undertake a substantial and ambitious scheme resulting in extensive changes to the landscape.

Brown is famous for creating landscapes which looked completely natural but in fact were carefully designed using man-made lakes, rolling hills and considered tree planting.

Join us for tours of the Audley End Gardens and landscape showcasing the best of Capability Brown. We have three event weekends at Audley End House and Gardens over the weekends of June 11 and 12, June 25 and 26 and July 9 and 10.

June is a fabulous time in the garden with many of your plants rewarding you with an abundance of flower, fruit or vegetables. Summer has hopefully arrived now and this really is the time to enjoy and soak up this special time. As the garden races towards the longest day, the Audley Garden team look to some simple ways to extend the interest.

These include: Cutting back. Hardy geraniums that have already bloomed will respond well if cut back and you can expect a second flush within a matter of weeks, along with fresh foliage.

This can also be a perfect time to fill gaps with any favourite summer bedding plants such as sunflowers, cosmos or nicotiana. Drop them in to any gaps and give them a good soak, they will flower right through to October.

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Staking. Plants are growing rapidly at this stage of the season so keep on top of any necessary staking or tying. This will encourage the plant to reach its full potential giving you a longer flowering period and healthy growth.

Weeding. The extra warmth and light will be encouraging weeds so hoe regularly to keep them under control. Reducing the weeds will help your favourite plants thrive as they will not be in competition with the weeds for space, light, moisture and nutrients.

Mulching-Mulches. This helps soil retain moisture in summer, prevent weeds and is generally used to improve the soil around plants, but it also gives your garden a neat, tidy appearance. Mulch material can include leaf compost, garden compost, bark mulch, well rotted manure or straw. Ideally, mulch after a period of rainfall to lock in the moisture and I would suggest focusing on any new planting areas as these will be the first to show signs of drought.

Lawns. Continue to cut grass once a week and consider a summer lawn feed to encourage healthy green growth.

Finally, June in the garden at Audley End is a very special time and opportunity to enjoy our collection of old fashioned English Roses and Peonies. These two beauties will be at their absolute best this month and are not to be missed. The flower and scent is one to behold and always makes me feel that June is well worth the wait. I hope to see you in the garden.