Rosebie Morton’s July Gardening Guide

By Rosebie Morton

3 weeks ago

Top gardening tips from the founder of The Real Flower Company


The sun is finally shining and summer seems to have arrived, says Rosebie Morton, founder of The Real Flower Company – but all that wet weather beforehand has resulted in a few positives. Here’s your July gardening guide.

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With my optimistic hat on, I’d say that the rain might have done our gardens some good: plants put in the ground late have got off to a good start, and roses have loved the cool damp conditions and are putting on a majestic display. Now, it’s important to keep up the dead heading and don’t forget to feed them! Just like us, they will thrive on being looked after.

If you have planted sweet peas, by now they are (hopefully!) in full flower. To keep them flowering for as long as possible, cut them regularly and place the stems in a cool vessel to enjoy indoors. Metal or ceramic vases and jugs are ideal because they don’t heat up in the same way as a normal glass vase, thus keeping the flowers cooler and extending their life. To avoid a tangled jungle, it is worth removing the tendrils of the sweet peas and tying the stems up teepees of bamboo or hazel sticks. A good high potash feed every week to ten days will encourage more flowers and strengthen the plants. Sweet peas are both hungry feeders and thirsty, so they really appreciate extra attention. 

Colourful flowers in a garden

Rosebie’s garden

After all that rain, everything will be growing madly – including the weeds! Nature abhors a vacuum so any bare ground will quickly fill with weeds. I tend to plant between roses and other shrubs with perennials such as Geranium Rozanne or Brookside, Alchemilla and Salvias, which are all brilliant at suppressing weeds. Cut them all back once they have flowered and you’ll get more flowers later. It’s worth noting that the Geraniums can take over, so it is worth keeping an eye on whether they’re suppressing more than just the weeds. I was remiss in one border and found a poor rose completely swamped by a geranium – it looked very unhappy! 

Annuals such as Love in a Mist (Nigella), Forget-Me-Nots (Mysotis sylvatica), and poppies are by now starting to go to seed, and if you are happy to let them proliferate throughout the garden, just leave them to seed. A word of caution if you have Alliums, however: their seed heads are beautiful, but blink and they will have dispersed millions of seed throughout the garden, resulting in your garden ending up (like mine!) a forest of onion-like lush leaves. These are very difficult to remove due to the tenacious bulbs which grow deep in the ground, so you may want to be careful.

With summer upon us, don’t forget that any newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials which aren’t yet fully established will need regular watering. Do also make sure that you keep your containers, pots and window boxes well-watered; it’s far better to give them a good drink (equivalent of a  full watering can) once or twice a week than a minor trickle more frequently. Dead head anything that’s flowered and feed it regularly.

Finally, whatever sized garden you have, make time to enjoy it and appreciate all of your hard work!