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Tasks in the cutting garden/ July 

With the borders in full bloom, keeping on top of harvesting, watering and tying in can make it difficult to find time to do anything else, but a little bit of planning and sowing now will mean a cutting patch full of flowers early next spring


 Continue to enjoy the abundance of summer:

  • Keep picking cut-and-come-again annuals like sweet peas and cosmos or they will quickly go to seed and stop producing blooms. 

  • Deadhead any flowers that haven’t been picked to encourage repeat flowering.

  • If you’d like to harvest rosehips in autumn, leave the flowers of some of your roses in place so they will develop into fruit. 

  • Prune back delphiniums and lupins for a further flush of flowers.

  • Clear away any early flowering hardy annuals and biennials and replace with half-hardy annuals for flowers up to the first frosts.

  • Check on the supports and staking of plants like Dahlias to avoid stem damage. Keep tying in climbers. 

 Make a start on next year's garden:

  • Start sowing seeds of biennials such as foxgloves, honesty, wallflowers and sweet williams to flower next spring. Either direct or in seed trays for pricking out and growing on to plant out in the garden in early autumn.

  • There’s still time to take soft-wood cuttings from perennials and shrubs like hydrangeas, geraniums and penstemons. I’ll often buy a ‘mother’ plant to take cutting material from at this time of year. 

 Plan ahead:

  • Make notes of your successes and more importantly, your failures of the growing year so far. Think about quantities, could you do with more foliage next year perhaps or more filler material?

  • Photographs taken now of your borders will be invaluable come winter time when you’re trying to plan next year’s planting. Did you get the spacings right? Could you do with less or more plants next year? 

  • Although you won’t be planting spring flowering bulbs until September at the earliest for daffodils, it’s worth getting a head start on your order. It’s about now that the catalogues will be landing on your doormat. Take time to indulge in the planning of your spring garden and get your order in early so you secure the varieties you really want – popular varieties sell out quickly. 

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