Friday, July 23, 2010

The July Garden

We're in the depths of Winter here in the Southern Hemisphere, the wind is cold & biting & the skies grey & leaden......a day in the garden is the last thing on our minds, but there is soooo much to do. So rug up, tuck the iPod into your pocket, pull out the gardening gloves & let's go. It's time to prune the roses (if you live in a heavy frost zone however, you should wait until next month). July is the best time for planting those bare-rooted roses you've been drooling over in the catalogues, so get to it, just making sure your new beauties have a really sunny, well-drained spot to thrive in!

Now is a great time to plant the fruit trees you meant to last year, but never got around to. A peach or nectarine likes a warm, sunny sheltered spot away from the wind - just do it.

Give those big, woody fucshias are pretty severe cut-back & feed them up lightly.

The English Box in tub & planters will love you if you give them a light trim & tidy up now.

The same applies to any of their relatives you've hedged in the garden.

Hydrangeas desperately need your attention now so a good prune, cutting out the dead canes & opening up the centre of the plant is the go here. If you want blue flowers, you need to start adding the bluing powder every couple weeks until the Spring buds appear.

Plant your strawberry runners (from the Nursery or from last year's plants) & treat them to a light feed.

Dig up your Dahlia clumps. Carefully remove them from the garden, wash off the dirt & cut the tubers away with a sharp knife ensuring the eye remains in the tuber. Store them away in a box, making sure you've covered them well with damp sand or sawdust.

Cut back Summer & Autumn flowering perennials like your Daisies.

Feed your Spring bulbs......the Daffodils

.......and Hyacinths

.......and Ranuculus

.......and Freesias.

Divide those scrappy looking Agapanthus & replant - they may be the only colour you have in the garden at the height of the long, hot Summer!

If you've got a little energy left & it's still light, start thinking about your Summer vegie garden. Make sure your beds get a minimum of 6-7 hours of full sun each day. Weed out the beds & dig some organic matter/compost into the soil to begin your prep. Wander inside, put the kettle on, warm yourself by the fire - you've earnt it!! Happy gardening & if I've given you a bit of encouragement, please leave a comment & let us all know what you got up to in your garden this weekend.



  1. If only I had the time to have such a glorious garden. What a feast for the eyes your post is today, Millie. And the nose. I swear I can smell those Hyacinth and Freesias from here, let along the strawberries.

    Have a wonderful weekend. Hope you get into your garden.

    Jennifer XX

  2. Ok, yep, I'm definitely inspired! Thank goodness I've only got a courtyard garden's far too cold here in Canberra still to do much but look out of the double glazed windows! Hope you have a wonderful weekend. And by the way...your boys are doing much better than mine...he forgot completely but then baked a cake to make up for it!!

  3. How wonderful you are Millie! All the advice I need. This weekend is Bridget's birthday so that will take all my time, can't wait! I will have to get out in what's left of our garden (after the reno) when I have some time. The camellias are doing well and I'm yet to prune the roses. I need to plant a few more trees along the fencelines, some box hedge might be the ticket along the driveway, maybe plant some vegies..Yikes..I really do have a lot to do! Have a lovely weekend..Rachaelxx

  4. *Sigh*. What I wouldn't give for a beautiful colourful garden ( and I don't mean birds of paradise and hibiscus). I am pretty much over palms and shrubs, which abound here on the Gold Coast.
    Thanks for this post Millie. It should keep me going for a while at least.

  5. Crikey Mill's,
    That's going some !!!! You'll be exhibiting at Chelsea at this rate !! You are such a hard worker, you put me to shame.
    Mr. Home and I are going on the London Eye today. Our son and daughter-in-law gave him tickets for his birthday. Then, in the garden this weekend I think a comfy garden chair, a little light reading and a glass of red will be the order of the day !!!!
    Happy winter gardening to you. Don't work too hard. I'll be thinking of you as I'm soaking up the sun hehe. XXXX

  6. Oh Millie, I wished my garden looked like this ~ love all the pretty inspiring photos you have shared.
    It is pouring with rain over here, so the garden will have to wait for a while. I pruned the few roses I have left after the drought put paid to some Iceberg roses, last summer {sigh}

    Have a great weekend and enjoy the garden if you go out there.

  7. Dear Miss Millie
    or is that Ms Green Thumb.. I was only thinking today.. now I have a garden I would love some hydrangeas and gardenias for spring.. so... can you advise when I should be planting those??? Gee this is a worry.. i haven't planted anything in a trillion years!! but with this wonderful inspiration I'll give it a shot!!!

    so.. sorry I am so absent.. internet connection in new place has a mind of it's own... split personality really and goes on strike more than it works.. have a wonderful weekend.. xxx Julie

  8. Oh, so gorgeous, Millie! You are such an inspiration, when it's winter here I usually just change out my container pots to pansies and leave it at that, I really need to be more ambitious! XO!

  9. Oh I love this post! Stuck here in a sultry New York summer, all of this talk of fresh spring things is so appealing. And you've just reminded me how much I adore ranunculas!

  10. Gorgeous photos! Wish I was a green-thumb ... Jane :)

  11. That's it..Tomorrow the agapanthas' are getting tackled,the daisies a haircut and the weeds better watch out,You've inspired me to take action, Thank you.xx

  12. Everything is coming up daisies at PorterRanch. You know, I like tending better than planting...what is up with that?
    I love nothing more than rolling up my sleeves, pruning back and plowing ahead. I find myself wondering why I don't just sit back and enjoy it more. Maybe because it's hotter than hell right now and I'm not into "having the vapors" as my mother calls them.
    What a great post. The hedge is beautiful anytime of year.

  13. Mmmmmmmm gorgeous! The closest I came to gardening this weekend, was picking some Hellebores to bring some winter cheer inside.

  14. Yes Millie it is time for the garden! My herbs are doing fine, my roses are sprayed and trimmed and my climbing roses are in bud at present, lovely pink colour, my lavender is in flower by the pool and my hedge is neatly trimmed even though not very high yet, still trying to get that thick undergrowth before height. Getting there! have a good day, Cathyxx

  15. Thank you for the advice and lovely pics. I'll be sure to follow up on some of those joys.I just wish I'd planted the fresias earlier to get some blooms.Hopefully next year!

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And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
~W.H. Auden

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