Bright skies and colour from dawn until dusk

The cool spring we have just experienced led to a prolonged display of daffodils, tulips and bluebells. Unlike many softer plants, spring bulbs mostly shrug off frosts, snow and rain and delight us until warmer and sunnier weather arrives.

From now on, we can enjoy the delights of early morning sunshine and, if you are fortunate enough to have plenty of trees around, the cacophony of the dawn chorus. At the end of the day, the winding down of the garden as the sun sets is almost palpable. Treat your garden to a birdbath and allow an area to “go wild” to encourage even more wildlife to your special space.

We are now into June and the risk of cold and frosty nights has passed. Gardeners can now throw caution to the wind and treat tender specimens to a dose of summer sun outside. Be adventurous with citrus, and delight in the heady scent of their blossom. Experiment with exotic canna lilies, and dream of continental holidays with bougainvillea and mandevilla. On a sunny patio, these will thrive with a regular dose of liquid feed. Surround yourself with climbing jasmine and passionflower, which are hardier and will revive year after year.

There’s still time to throw some flower seeds into a spare space to colour up later this year. Alternatively, bedding plants will give you an instant quick fix from now until late summer; perennial cottage garden plants will not only flower this year, but also come back bigger and better year after year.

With so much vegetation around from grass cuttings to dead-headed flowers, utilize a compost bin; assorted layers including uncooked vegetable and fruit waste will speed up the process, as will giving it an occasional dousing to keep it moist. Your beds and borders will benefit from this rotted-down mulch next year.

David Hogg Buckland Nurseries

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