Gardening – top tips for July from Audley End House head gardener Alan North

PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 July 2017

The gardens at Audley End House. Picture: ALAN NORTH/ENGLISH HERITAGE

The gardens at Audley End House. Picture: ALAN NORTH/ENGLISH HERITAGE


Summer is in full swing and your garden should be full of colour along with plenty of fruit and veg for the picking. This is the time to enjoy the garden and those long, warm and sunny days.

Audley End gardening column by Alan NorthAudley End gardening column by Alan North

There are still many tasks to complete in the garden this month to help it continue looking its best and to extend the interest. We experienced some unusually high temperatures in June so it really is important to monitor and care for your plants following that very hot and dry spell. If you have new plantings then do continue to irrigate them and ideally do this in the morning or evening when the temperatures are cooler. This will allow the water to run down into the soil and reach the roots of the plant without too much excess water lost to evaporation.

Early flowering perennials such as catmint, lupins and geraniums will now have peaked and be looking tired following the recent hot conditions. Revitalise these plants by simply cutting back to the base and this will promote fresh foliage and a second crop of flowers. Ideally attempt to time this job when there is some rain due as this will quickly get the plant growing happily again.

Other tasks to carry out this month to keep your garden looking tip top are as follows:

• Continue to deadhead roses. This will promote further flowers throughout the summer. Cut spent blooms back to the first set of healthy leaves and continue to do so as flowers fade.


• Sow seeds. The risk of frost has passed so plant out or sow sweetcorn, french and runner beans, pumpkins, courgettes and tomatoes.

• This is the perfect time to give your lawn a boost. Feed the lawn with a summer feed to promote lush green growth and also reduce lawn weeds/moss. Follow the application rates and advice carefully.

• Keep on top of harvesting fruit and vegetables. Early potatoes, carrots, onions, salads, tomatoes, summer raspberries and strawberries should all be perfectly ready to harvest now.

• Start planning and considering your plans for bulb planting in the Autumn with a view to making bulb orders in August or September. Leave it too late and you may miss out on your favourite bulbs.

The garden at Audley End House and Garden is still open at the weekends and will re-open as normal on July 24. It is a fabulous time to visit the garden with so much colour and interest throughout the grounds.

I am really excited by the vibrant and hot colour scheme in the Parterre this season – really not to be missed! I hope to see you in the garden.

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