June garden tips with expert Keith Clouting

Rosa'Red Sunblaze'. Photo: Keith Clouting

Rosa'Red Sunblaze'. Photo: Keith Clouting - Credit: Archant

Great gardening tips for June with Taverham Nursery Centre expert Keith Clouting

Rosa 'Judy Fischer'. Photo: Keith Clouting

Rosa 'Judy Fischer'. Photo: Keith Clouting - Credit: Archant

With the mild winter this year my first rose opened in mid-April. But now in June the peak of the rose season is with us, filling the garden with scent and colour.

The smaller patio and miniature roses have become increasingly popular over the last few years. Despite their size they are fully hardy and tend to be good repeat bloomers. There have been many good new varieties released over recent years and there are also some excellent older varieties as well.

One of the oldest R. ‘Judy Fischer’ is also one of my favourites it’s a tough little shrub with slightly scented mid-pink flowers which last very well and don’t fade even in the June sun. A more recent introduction is R. ‘Gentle Touch’. Raised in the 1980s this lovely patio rose has masses of dainty pink flowers with a hint of salmon on the upper petals. It grows around 80cm tall and, like other miniature and patio roses, it makes an excellent container specimen as well as a good front of the border plant.

The Sunblaze roses are an outstanding selection of miniature rose varieties. One of the brightest is R. ‘Red Sunblaze’.

Zantedeschia aethiopica. Photo: Keith Clouting

Zantedeschia aethiopica. Photo: Keith Clouting - Credit: Archant

It has stunning velvety red blooms all summer, set off by the semi-glossy foliage. As well as a specimen plant it makes a stunning low hedge. Like their larger cousins these roses enjoy full sun and good fertile soil. Feed them in early spring and in summer after their first flush of blooms and treat any pests and diseases before they become a problem.

Plant of the month

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Zantedeschia aethiopica

Ants in the garden can be a menace. Photo: Getty Images / iStockphoto

Ants in the garden can be a menace. Photo: Getty Images / iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

This striking looking plant originates from Africa where it grows in marshes and beside rivers. In spring it produces fabulous large white flower spathes surrounding a yellow spadix and if deadheaded will carry on flowering well into the summer. Despite its exotic appearance Zantedeschia aethiopica can be grown outside preferring moist conditions and although hardy with age when they have developed a deep root system they are best given a thick winter mulch until established. They also make excellent container specimens and with the winter protection of a cold greenhouse will flower earlier.

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Catch up with Keith

Now is a good time to reshape evergreen topiary such as buxus, ligustrum or taxus.

If not already started off in pots runner beans, sweetcorn and dwarf beans can be sown directly in the ground outside now.

Remove rose flowers as they fade to keep the display looking good and encourage new flowers.

Seeds of winter and spring bedding such as forget-me-nots, winter pansies, wallflowers and bellis can be sown now.

Question time

My lawn is full of ant’s nests and the powder I’ve used doesn’t seem to be working, how can I eradicate them?

There are many products available to kill ants in the garden but the ones I have found most effective are the ant killer sachets which you mix with water and apply with a sprayer or watering can to the nest and lawn. This should be effective quite quickly but large infestations may require a second application. Another chemical method is ant bait stations which can be placed on or around the lawn on a regular basis and may help to kill the ants before they create a large colony. Always read the instructions on pesticides carefully.

Taverham Nursery Centre, Fir Covert Road, Taverham, NR8 GHT, 01603 860522

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