Finally, my patio pots are full and bursting

Yay, it’s officially summer, and June has been a beautiful month in the southeast of the UK; it even reached 30 degrees.

Well, the plethora of new perennials we purchased over the last few months for the Cottage Garden is coming on leaps and bounds. Gradually they’re stretching their roots, and fresh fronds are continually appearing.

Every day we spot something new; it’s such a pleasure and brings a smile to your face. It’s even more special when you have grown some plants from seed. I’m particularly loving our little stumpy sunflowers and our dahlias.

I know this may sound naïve, but I honestly thought dahlias were only grown from tubers. I grew a pack from seed, and they have turned out fantastic. Well, as long as I can stop insects from munching them.

Even though I made a bit of a faux pas with potting on my chillies, they appear to have survived. We can now look forward to a crop of Jalapeno, Habanero and Zimbabwe Black chillies.

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We’ve also attracted a juvenile woodpecker to our garden, one of its parents brought it along to peck at the peanuts, and it now returns on its own. Also, a grey squirrel has started frequenting our garden, which is quite entertaining to watch.
A dwarf sunflower with its bright yellow flower in a blue glazed pot on our courtyard patio.
A dwarf sunflower

What we’ve been up to this month

In the garden and on the website

I finally believe I have now finished planting out all my matured seedlings, and the courtyard patio and the cottage garden are just waiting to burst into colour.

The many, many pots on our patio and planters are beginning to attract lots of bees and butterflies, which is excellent news. Unfortunately, the unwanted insects are turning up too.

A collection of mixed planting on our courtyard patio in full bloom in individual pots
Planting on the patio

I was slightly delayed in sowing my tomato plant seeds this year as I was experimenting with outdated seeds. Needless to say, they never sprouted, so, as not to be beaten, I purchased some fresh seeds and have 2 San Marzano plants, 3 Gardeners Delight and 3 Sweet Million F1. I planted them into their final pots a couple of weeks ago, and they are flourishing well.

As I’ve previously mentioned, we also manage the website ‘Our World for You’, which leads me onto our next challenge, as we are heading off on a collaboration trip. This is obviously very good news; however, I’ve been nurturing our young plants for months, from seedlings to blooming pleasures, and I don’t want to leave them without water.

This can only mean one thing; we need to install an irrigation system. I appreciate that these watering systems are not always very popular. However, it’s just for our courtyard patio, and the irrigation system will be dripping slowly for a short session every morning and evening. I would be mortified if my patio plants withered and died.

Needless to say, we’ll let you know how we get on.

Our English cottage garden with a mix of planting filling out more as summer arrives.
The Cottage Garden in June

As usual, we have been on the hunt for garden centres and nurseries that we haven’t visited before. We have recently discovered a garden centre in Offham, Kent, named Spadework. Spadework is a charity that enables people to feel more independent and lead fuller lives; it’s a delightful place.

We have now visited twice, and we left with our arms full on both occasions. I bought a lovely selection of bedding plants and a couple of perennials for our cottage garden. I picked up a Penstemon ‘Purple Passion’ and a Musk Mallow. The quality of their plants is fantastic and very competitively priced too.

We also managed to visit the Kent Garden Show a few weeks ago. It had some beautiful plants; we picked up a clematis, a couple of grasses and a Scabiosa. The only thing I would say about these shows is that they often follow trends, and many stands have the same plants. However, it is a pleasant day out, but don’t assume you’re going to find anything too unusual.

A ruined archway almost engulfed by the planting in the picturesque gardens of Scotney Castle in Kent on a beautiful spring day
Scotney Castle Gardens

Achievements for June

Let’s keep ticking those boxes

Considering we can only dedicate a couple of days a week to the garden, I think it is progressing pretty well. Although with the challenge ahead of us, there is always lots to do.

So, let’s see what we’ve managed to tick off for June.

I’ve now filled all our patio pots and planters with a mix of bedding plants, tomatoes, climbers, fuchsias and sunflowers. So, looking forward to more vibrant colours.

Last month, we laid 19 stepping stones; now that they have bedded in, we needed to raise a few. It’s become a bit of a challenging job now that the Cottage border is filling out.

We’ve invested in a Ryobi hedge trimmer, which has become very handy and made some of our jobs less labour intensive.

I didn’t get a chance to tackle the Front Garden, which will move into July.

Planting continues in our Cottage Garden; I can’t help myself; if I see a perennial which I love, it’s coming home.

Gary has also made progress with our composters. For a while now, they haven’t been working correctly; however, I think we may start seeing some success.

We’ve installed an irrigation system on to our Courtyard Patio. So, if we’re away for a few days, we know it’s all going to be tended to.

Yes, I feel like I’m continually weeding; it’s like the Forth Bridge, you get to the end, and it’s time to start again.

Other jobs that we’ve achieved:

  • Planted out our final sunflowers; these ones are red.
  • Completed planting out our new herb garden.
  • Cleared ivy around the nut tree.
Bright yellow and peach flowers in the window box planting on our Courtyard Patio
In bloom on the patio

Lessons learnt & mistakes made

You live and learn

I’m not entirely sure I have gotten to the bottom of this issue, but any knowledge and answers are welcome.

A couple of weeks ago, I potted on our tomato plants in their final pots, and they were very healthy and filling out a treat. Then, as they grew, the top leaves were all curling up and folding within themselves. I thought I was watering them sufficiently; however, I think it may be a lack of water.

It was happening on all of them but now appears to be just a couple. They do unfurl themselves sightly, but then they curl up again. As mentioned, we’ve now installed an irrigation system, so I’m hoping the regular morning and evening watering will solve the problem.

Our plans for the coming month

What’s on your to-do list?
Clear the weeds and unwanted planting in the Woodland section.

Progress with planning the different garden sections and understanding the likes and dislikes of our plants.

Prune and tidy the jasmine and rose arch down the back of the garden.

Continue to weed drive and generally tidy it up. This is an ongoing task as I’ve worn down the edge of the scraper

Collect seeds from plants around the garden, ready for sowing next year.

Keep cutting back and managing our overgrown and unruly shrubs in the Secret Garden.

Weeding, weeding and more weeding.

Tidy the front garden and arrange for someone to remove an unwanted tree.

Continue to tackle our working area, it’s slow progress, and there is so much garden waste.

Sunflowers and lavender in our Provencal bed for memories of Provence, France
Our Provencal bed
Well, it looks like we have another busy month ahead. Please let us know what you have planned in your garden this month; we’d love to know.

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