Gardener’s Diary: Enhance your Garden for Summer

Written by Craig from Barn Farm plants

June brings us the longest day of the year so there are no excuses for not being in the garden, even after a long day at work what better way is there to unwind? Now is the time to plant up all your pots, containers and baskets with lovely summer bedding, we have a comprehensive range all grown here at the garden centre to ensure excellent quality.


Fill any gaps in herbaceous borders with annual bedding plants, cosmos perform well, begonias are particularly good for dry sunny borders or those in partial shade. Why not treat your pagoda, fence or shed to a lovely hanging basket! Even those in shade can benefit if you choose the correct plants. The playhouse should always have a planted window box, your children will love to help plant it, you could let them choose their plants and give them the job of keeping it watered. Continue to sow pansy, viola and wallflower seeds for winter and spring colour.

Garden Maintenance

Hoe weeds regularly to avoid them going to seed and drastically multiplying. Put wildlife, pet, and child friendly slug pellets around all fleshy plants to avoid them being eaten alive! A barrier of course grit or wool pellets around hosta plants will help protect them from slugs and snails. Once bulbs have died down completely remove the foliage but don’t do this too early as you will have ‘blind’ bulbs next year. Give them a liquid fertiliser.

Wild Birds

The wild birds will need fresh water to bathe in and drink, feed them with a good seed mix staying away from peanuts as fledglings can choke on them. No Mess seed mixes are increasingly popular, these are made up of seed types that won’t germinate underneath your feeders if dropped by the birds. Dried mealworms make an excellent complement to seed mixes.

Pruning and Supporting

Spray roses against pests and disease and support any climbing or rambling varieties. Prune Montana clematis hard once it has finished flowering and tie in any other varieties, also prune spring flowering shrubs such as philadelphus, deutzia and weigelia towards the end of the month. Be brutal by cutting out a third of older wood, enabling next year’s flowers to form on this year’s growth. Dead head oriental poppies, delphiniums and lupins. Euphorbia flowers pick up mildew if not removed. Cuttings can be taken of garden pinks.


Mow your lawn, a regular trim will thicken the grass and keep it a lush green. Use weed killers that kill weeds but not grass. For those not wishing to apply weed killers there are effective tools for removing weeds manually.                                                 

Fruit and Vegetables

Strawberries will now be fruiting, keep birds away by using a net over the plants and hang old cd’s around the crop to act as a deterrent. Put straw or mulch mats under the fruit to keep them clean and disease free. Peg down any runners to increase plant numbers for next year. Many vegetable crops can still be sown, like salad leaf, spring onions, radishes and carrots. Plant out runner beans, French beans, squash and courgette, pinch side shoots from tomatoes and keep protected from chilly nights. Continue to earth up your main crop potatoes, generally do this three or four times before letting them go to flower. Once the flowers are over the potatoes are ready to harvest. Purchase a liquid concentrate food suitable for your tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, begin feeding the plants with these once the first fruits begin to set. Give vegetables and fruit crops a regular concentrated feed too such as liquid seaweed.

Plants of the Month

Alstromeria: Repeat flowering dwarf hybrid varieties of the garden favourite.

Nemesia: Bedding varieties with attractive bicoloured flowers such as plums and custard, sunshine and hearts of gold, some are fragrant too.

Trailing Ivy leaf Geraniums: The perfect fit for dry areas in full sun or where watering is difficult.

Monthly suggestion:

Why not plant some hardy shrubs, climbers and herbaceous perennials which attract bees, butterflies and other wildlife into your garden, some suggestions are:

Lavender: Choose from English varieties such as Hidcote and Munstead or the larger double flowered French types, they flower on a relatively compact plant and hold the flower well into autumn.

Buddleja: For those who can’t accommodate the larger growing varieties smaller more compact types are available which are just as appealing to butterflies.

Honeysuckle: Lovely traditional garden climber with fragrant flowers during summer.

Lavatera (Mallow): With showy flowers in pink, white or rosea.

A selection of perennials such as, foxgloves, catmint (nepeta), scabious, campanula, gaura, coreopsis, gaillardia, sedum spectable and verbena rigida or bonariensis.

Gifts to treat your dad on Father’s Day, include a range of Billy belts, Mr Heron bamboo socks, locally brewed beers and flavoured wines, gardening implements and gift vouchers.

I look forward to seeing you over the next month for all your bedding and basket plants.


Barn Farm Plants, Wardington, Banbury, Oxon OX17 1SN

01295 758080