Long, hot sultry summer evenings – that’s what August is supposed to be about…hopefully the blustery, unsettled weather of July will give way to just that!

In the meantime there’s plenty to keep you busy in the garden, aside from a nice cold pimms.

Dead-heading and cutting back – Keep dead-heading bedding and perennials to encourage them to flower for as long as possible and to stop them setting seed – unless you want them to.IMG_4951

Water – Keep camelias and rhodedendrons well watered to encourage them to set healthy buds for next year. Make sure containers are well watered to prevent wilting and keep an eye on the garden in general. Try to be water wise where you can – gathering rainwater in butts and watering at the base of plants in the cool of the evening to reduce evaporation.

IMG_4947Stake Dalias to prevent them flopping or becoming damaged in any summer storms.

Trim lavender flowers and stalks back, once all the flowers have gone over, but don’t cut into old wood.

lavender-shrubCut back herbs to encourage fresh new growth if they’ve gone to flower, but bear in mind the bees love thyme and chive flowers, so you may want to leave a few for them.

Collect ripened seed ready to plant for next year. Store in a cool, dry, dark place; brown paper envelopes are good for this.

iris-german-supreme-sultanDivide bearded iris now before the weather gets too cold, so they have time to become established before the winter.

Cut back whippy growth on wisteria to maintain the structure of the plant.

Keep harvesting soft fruits and vegetable crops, checking them regularly as things are ripening fast.

And… don’t forget to enjoy your garden! It won’t be long before the last hot colours of summer give way to the golden, mellow tones of Autumn and the nights begin to draw in.