A June cottage garden in Vancouver, B.C.
Garden Chores for June
In This Issue
If it wasn’t for roses coming into flower this month, I don’t think I would like June as much as I do. They are just so seductive, with their silky petals and their long golden stamens – oooh! And I am not alone in my lust for these floriferous flirts. Rosarians do exist and they live among you, in fact you may be one. Their allure appeals to many with their many flower types, petal variations and endless colours and colour combinations.
I love the very ornate with a seemingly endless number of petals crammed together in perfect alignment, but I also melt at the simplicity of a five petalled rose that exposes their crown of gleaming stamens. I admit my affair with roses hasn’t been all that rosy, in fact – it has been quite thorny. I’ve dealt with the weak, the crazy, the angry and the naughty ones. This is what gives roses a bad reputation. Gardeners consider them high maintenance and a pain in the rosehip to grow – if you know what I mean. Luckily, rose breeders have developed easy care roses for all to cherish.
At present, in my garden I have 16 rose plants. Four are climbers: Dortmund, Tropical Lightening, Bathsheba and Golden Olymp. All of them perform well, but Tropical Lightening leads the pack in vigor. It’s robust, strong, vigorous and pumps out flowers during the summer well into autumn.
It’s difficult for me to pick a favorite out of my non-climbing roses, as there are a few that are showstoppers. One of my faves, is Easy Does It, a floribunda rose. Not only does it flower profusely with large blossoms that change colour as they age, the foliage is spotless. Another favorite is another floribunda called Julia Child. Huge bright yellow flowers grow on sturdy stems with large deep green foliage. Sweet Vigorosa is a wide spreading ground cover rose that is smothered with its deep pink flowers. It even does well in partial shade. Mr. Lincoln is a hearty and healthy hybrid tea rose with deep red velvet romantic flowers. Another excellent floriferous rose that flowers all summer is the Oso Happy® Candy Oh! landscape rose.
Low maintenances roses are usually sold at plant nurseries and online. Ask for recommendations at your local nursery, from friends and neighbours. And if you are interested, here's my list of Easy Roses.
Have a great gardening month and enjoy your summer garden.
June PLANT COMBO
Hot pink peonies, dark blue Siberian iris (Iris siberica), pale pink deutzia (Deutzia 'Mont Blanc') and lavender pink pincushion flower (Scabiosa) blossom at the same time for a nice display along a sunny border.
This lily-of the-valley shrub (Pieris japonica) is covered with black sooty mold and scale insects. Scale insects are sucking insect pests that attack weakened plants. Incorrect growing conditions and maintenance are the usual culprits. As they suck the sap out of plants the foliage becomes mottled and dull. Find them on leaf undersides, along stems and in nooks and crannies. Scale insects secrete a sticky sweet substance called honeydew, which attracts the black sooty mold fungus. The mold is more unsightly than harmful and is easily washed off with soap and water. To control the the insects, as well as the mold, thoroughly spray with plant with horticultural oil or neem oil according to the instructions. To prevent further infestations, ensure the growing conditions are correct. Lily-of-the-valley shrubs prefer moist rich soil, 3 inches of an organic mulch in partial sun. This poor specimen had no mulch and was in too much shade.
New & Timely articles
Click on the links below to be redirected.
To receive the monthly edition of The Garden Website.com click here.
STAGE 1 LAWN WATERING ALLOWED:
Even-numbered addresses on Saturdays
Odd-numbered addresses on Sundays
Automatic watering: 5 am – 7 am
Manual watering: 6 am – 9 am
Watering trees, shrubs and flowers is permitted any day from 5 am to 9 am if using a sprinkler, or any time if hand watering or using drip irrigation. All hoses must have an automatic shut-off device.
Edible plants (veggies, fruits and herbs) are exempt from regulations
STAGE 1 LAWN WATERING ALLOWED:
Even-numbered addresses on Mondays
Odd-numbered addresses on Tuesdays
Automatic watering: 4 am – 6 am
Manual watering: 6 am – 9 am
Watering trees, shrubs and flowers is permitted any day from 4 am to 9 am if using a sprinkler, or any time if hand watering or using drip irrigation. All hoses must have an automatic shut-off device.
Edible plants are exempt from regulations
Special permits are available that allow more frequent watering of newly planted lawns. Contact your local municipality for more information. For Metro Vancouver click here.
June Garden Stars
Preparing for Heat
It’s officially summer so it’s prudent to prepare for what’s to come: drought and heat. Set up your sprinklers, put them on a timer, and if you need more hoses, sprinkler and handheld sprayers, purchase them now before they are all sold out. It’s important that all plants receive adequate amounts of water – including trees, shrubs and even cedar hedges. Take the time to water all your plants properly. Give them a good soak along the dripline. That’s were a plant’s canopy ends and where there feeder roots are.
Too much sun? When plants wilt because of excessive heat, you gotta provide some shade. Either plant a tall plant or more on the south or west side of the flagging plant to block the light. For a temporary fix secure a shade cloth to some supports.
Reducing the Need to Water
Mulch. Apply at least 3 inches on top of the soil and around plants. Water the soil first if it’s dry before laying the mulch. To learn more about mulch click on Mulch & Mulching.
Living Mulches: Plant ground covers: sedum for sun, Japanese spurge for shade. For more information click on Living Mulches - Groundcovers
Don't rely on soaker hoses & drip systems: Water the soil thoroughly before laying them out. After a week, dig down with a trowel or shovel, to ensure the water is penetrating down to at least 4 inches.
Hand water new plants and those that are wilting. Give them a good long soak. Water the soil around the plants, not the plant. Water deeply and thoroughly so it puddles a few times.
Put sprinklers on timers. They are available at home hardware stores. Just attach a timer to an outdoor faucet then connect a garden hose with a sprinkler on the end.
It’s best to water in the morning. Avoid watering mid-day and in the evening.
To learn how to water more efficiently and effectively click on Watering Tips & Techniques
There are techniques, methods and tips to mitigate the effects of drought. It’s a smart way of gardening that uses plants that don’t mind dry soil - once they are established. It also considers the soil by adding compost and other organic material. They act like a sponge holding on to water so it doesn’t evaporate or run off. Watering correctly with deep long soaks rather than shallow frequent ones. A nice thick 3-inch layer of an organic mulch is essential to cool the soil, to reduce evaporation and to hold moisture in. For more information click on Drought Gardening
For roses to do their best, give them at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day and plant them in rich, organic soil with lots of compost. Follow up by laying 3 inches of an organic mulch on top of the soil. They love a clay loam so if you have impenetrable clay soil, improve it with compost, SeaSoil and/or composted manure.
Don’t allow soil to dry out, especially when plants are in bud as flowers will be fewer and smaller. Cut off faded blossoms and flower clusters to encourage reblooming. To cut roses for a vase or to remove spent flowers, cut stems back to a leaf that has 5 or more leaflets, not 3.
After each flush of blooms, give plants a drink and some food. Fertilize with compost, well-rotted manure, kelp or another organic fertilizer. Roses love a good mulch. Add 3 inches of recycled wood chips. Place it on top of the soil around their stems, but don’t cover their canes. Click on Mulches and Mulching for more info.
Click on the following links for more on roses.
How to Grow Roses - Types of Roses - Easy Roses - Climbing Roses - Rose Sawfly -
Portland's Rose Test Garden - Rose Insects & Diseases -
Pruning Roses - Rose Bloom Balling
This is a 5 leaflet leaf. Cut the roses off just above this leaflet.
Climbing Roses: Their long supple canes don't have the ability of clinging to a support so they must be tied as they grow. If possible, tie them so they grow horizontally to encourage more flowers.
Secure tomato stems as they grow and remove suckers that form where stems meet. Keep plants watered, and don't allow them to dry out. Fluctuating soil moisture leads to calcium deficiencies and split fruit. There's lots to learn about tomatoes. Here's some links you might find helpful:
At this time of the year, it’s important to water adequately and to mow high. These two maintenance practices not only reduce weeds, but they also prevent lawn grubs, including chafers and leather jackets. Raising the lawnmower to 3 inches to prevent insects from depositing their eggs. The longer grass also shades the soil from the hot sun and provides more food for the grass plants.
Lawns in the northern hemisphere start their summer dormancy when temperatures rise. As their growth slows so does their need for water, however it doesn’t mean they can live without it. Keep lawns alive with only one inch of water a week. Without that one inch of water, the grass starts to die out, weeds fill the voids and lawn grubs invade.
Yellow Lawn? If it’s receiving adequate water and it’s still yellow, fertilize with a slow release, preferably organic lawn food with the first number highest (9-2-2). For more on fertilizing lawns click here. Click on the following links for more information.
Hate Your Lawn
If your lawn is causing you more trouble than its worth, consider converting it into a garden, a meadow, plant clover, install a patio, a pond, or plant ground covers. For more click on Lawn Alternatives.
Shrubs: As long as shrubs are full, not spindly nor overgrown, and flower faithfully every year, there’s no need to trim them back. If plants need some taming, do so right after they finish flowering. Don’t take too much off. Remove only third of growth.
Tame crowded plants by cutting stems back from plants that are infringing on others. Prune out any diseased, broken, weak, old and branches that cross.
Trees: Remove dead branches, broken ones and diseased growth. Cut off suckers and watersprouts flush with the stem and/or roots so they don’t regrow. For more on pruning click here.
Pruning fruit Trees
Pruning fruit trees in summer redirects the growth from vegetative growth (winter pruning) to fruit production. Remove suckers, watersprouts, old unproductive stems, dead, diseased and broken branches. Wait to prune cherry trees, peaches, apricot and other stone fruit until after the fruits are harvested in late summer to reduce infection from bacterial canker.
June drop: When fruit trees, especially apples, bear too many fruit, the tree will abort excess fruit. It's a natural process so don't be alarmed.
Summer pruning of wisterias is essential to control their aggressive growth and to encourage flowering. Pune all side shoots so only few buds (nodes) remain. Flowering spurs should develop in a year or two. Repeat this process again in winter.
To keep wisterias in check and to promote more flowers, cut the side shoots back.
June Garden Chores
Click on the coloured links to be redirected.
Go Walkabout: Take the time to walk through your garden to make sure everything is doing okay. Water plants that need it asap. Take note to stake floppy plants, pick off bugs, snails and slugs, spray with soap and water if necessary and to weed. It’s a good idea to take pictures of your successes and failures for future reference. For more click on Garden Inspections
Planting: It’s not the best time to plant trees, shrubs, bedding plants etc., especially if it’s hot and dry, which it usually is this time of year. If you have to plant, do so at the end of the day or on a cloudy day. Water any new babies with an adequate amount of water to soak the surrounding soil and roots. Oh, and don’t go on vacation as they need TLC. For more on planting click on Planting Know-How
Sow Biennial Seeds: Wallflowers, foxgloves, honesty plant, hollyhocks and sweet Williams are all biennials, which means they don’t flower until their second year. Once flowering ceases and seeds have formed, they die as their job is done. Sow seeds in pots indoors or outside in an area where they receive shade in the afternoon. Keep soil moist until seed germinate, which may mean watering gently a few times a day on hot days. Follow the instructions on the seed packets for seed spacing, planting depth and other pertinent information. Click on the following links for more: Sowing Seeds Outdoors, Sowing Seeds Indoors.
Boulevard & Street Trees: Don't forget to water city trees on and around your property. Watering bags are available at most municipalities or look for them in hardware stores and garden centres.
Watering Hanging baskets: They dry out quickly and often need watering twice a day, especially moss baskets. To perk up overly dry plants, dunk the basket or planter in a bucket of water until it stops bubbling. For more on growing in containers click here.
Stake Plants: Droopy, floppy, tall and top-heavy plants need support. Use tomato cages, peony rings, tie them to bamboo stakes, or use short trellises to prop them up.
Slugs & Snails: Tattered eaten plants with slime trails have been devoured by snails and slugs. Go out at night to catch them in the morning, at dusk and after it rains. Click on Slugs & Snails for numerous control methods.
Spring Bulbs: Once the foliage fades, cut it off or dig up the bulbs and store in a dry, dark location until fall, then replant. Store in paper bags and dust with cinnamon as it is a natural fungicide. If you don't want to wait until their leaves turn yellow, dig them up being careful not to detach their stems from the bulbs. If you don’t want to dig them up, plant other plants around them to hide the withering foliage.
Deadhead: It’s not necessary to pinch off dead flowers but it does help with a plant’s appearance, and in some cases, they will rebloom (lungwort, veronicas, zinnias, marigolds, petunias, alyssum, salvias). Coleus and Dusty Miller: Remove their flower as soon as they form to increase bushiness, prolong their life and to keep them more compact. English Bluebells: To stop seeds from popping up everywhere, remove their flower stalks just after flowering. Heather: Cut all the stems back once they finish flowering to keep plants compact. For more on heathers click here.
Compost: The more you add to the pile and turn it, the sooner all your kitchen scraps become compost. Add water when necessary, as moisture helps with the decomposing process. Pile too wet? Add strips of newspaper or dried leaves. Don’t add meat products, dairy, fat or any cooked food. For more on composting click here.
Houseplants - Inside: Brown crispy foliage maybe a sign that plants are receiving too much light, especially if they are in a south or facing window. Move them further from the window and soon new healthy growth to appear healthy growth indicates the plant is fine. Repot any houseplants that need daily watering as they have outgrown their pots. Use fresh potting soil and place in a bright location, away from direct sun, for a couple of days. Once they perk up return them to their previous spot.
Need More Colour? Fill in any areas in your garden beds that are bare or are in need of a dash of colour. Visit your local nursery and look for a suitable plant or plants. Another simple option is to fill the gap with a decorative planter full of flowers.
Peony & Ants: Don’t worry as the ants protect the flowers from harmful insects and in return, the peonies allow the ants to feed on their nectar.
Weed: Weeds are easier to remove when the ground is moist so water before pulling. For lawn weeds, mow down their flower heads before they go to seed.
Stop Weeds on Garden Beds! To prevent weeds from re-growing, lay 3 inches of an organic mulch on top of the soil and around plants. Don't use landscape fabric as it defeats the benefits of using mulch. And don't dig the mulch into the soil, just lay it on the ground. For more on mulch click here.
How to Kill Your Lawn
Lawn Care Basics - Lawn Maintenance Schedule - Mossy Lawns - Lawn Reno Seed & Sod - Lawn Grub Control - Lawn Alternatives
Birds, Butterflies & Pollinators
Butterfly Feeding Station: Attract butterflies with sliced oranges, overripe bananas and other mushy fruit placed in a shallow dish nestled among their favorite flowers: butterfly bush (Buddleia), milkweed (Asclepia), stonecrop (Sedum), beebalm (Monarda), Baptisia, creeping phlox, sunflowers, Joe-Pye weed (Eupatorium), Shasta daisies, coneflowers, verbena, lantanas, salvias and asters.
Water for Bees & Other Pollinators: Place pebbles, colourful glass beads or marbles in a shallow dish, then add water so they can drink without drowning.
Water for the Birds: Provide shallow dishes for them to bathe and drink especially during the heat of the summer.
Pollinators: For more information on attracting and helping pollinators click on Helping Pollinators
Garlic scapes, pink scabiosa, laveder and allium seedheads make for a striking arrangement. For a numbered guide to the specific flower names and for other arrangements go to Monthly Flower Arrangements
Plant of the month
Common Name: garden or Chinese peony
Botanical Name: Paeonia lactiflora
Form: upright vase
Plant Type: herbaceous perennial, tuberous roots
Mature Size: 12” to 36” depending on variety
Origin: Europe, Asia, North America
Hardiness Zone: 2 to 8
Foliage: green, compound, lobed, alternate, fall colour
Flowers: May, June depending on variety, up to 10” across, all colours except blue, many flower types available
Fruit: aggregate clusters, follicles with black seeds
Exposure: sun, part shade
Uses: garden borders, perennial beds, cut flower, background plant
Propagation: division, seeds
Pruning: deadhead spent flowers
Problems: botrytis, peony leaf blotch
Comments: Garden/Chinese peonies are adored for their impressive, huge, globe-shaped fragrant blossoms that arise from rounded plants with handsome green foliage. Their flowering period only lasts a couple of weeks, but can be extended if you plant early, mid, and late flowering varieties.
There are numerous species of peonies, including herbaceous garden peonies, Paeonia lactiflora, that die down in fall and tree peonies, Paeonia suffruticosa, that are considered deciduous shrubs due to their woody stems. The Itoh (or Intersectional) is a cross between herbaceous and tree peonies. Their foliage resembles tree peonies, however, they are herbaceous and non-woody. All peony types boast gorgeous large blossoms.
Most peonies are fragrant with cup-shaped petals; however, the number, type and arrangement of petals differ depending on the flower type: single, Japanese, anemone, semi-double, bomb and double. They do well in sun and partial shade and are tolerant of many soil types with good drainage. They will become leggy with drooping flower stems in too much shade - if they flower at all.
Dividing garden peonies when flowering ebbs, which occurs after about 10 years. Divide them in the autumn after leaves yellow. Use a sharp knife to cut into the tubers, leaving 3 to 5 eyes (buds) on each section. Allow them to callous over for a couple of days, then replant. Bury the tubers so the eyes are no deeper than one inch. They will not flower if they are planted too deep. Space plants 3 feet apart and mix in some compost and a small handful of bonemeal.
Mulching Peonies: Although peonies are quite hardy, if you live in USDA growing zones from 2 to 5, it’s a good idea to cover them in fall with a winter mulch of fallen leaves. Just don’t forget to remove the mulch in spring. For warmer areas, a winter mulch is not needed, however no matter what climate you live in, peonies benefit greatly from a mulch (as most plants do).
Deadheading & Fall Clean-up: Cut off spent blossoms to prevent seed production and to tidy the plants. Cut off foliage once it yellows in autumn to discourage overwintering diseases.
Botrytis Blight: Peonies are easy to grow as they don’t have many insects or diseases; however, they do suffer from botrytis blight and leaf blotch (peony measles). Botrytis blight (gray mold) attacks many plants when there is extended periods of rain and high humidity. It attacks the tender growth especially the blossoms. Symptoms include flower buds that fail to open. They become mushy and covered with grey mold. Brown lesions and grey spores also appear stems and leaves. To control this disease, collect and destroy all contaminated plant parts including those on the ground and on the plant. Cut off infected plant parts and disinfect pruners after each cut. Mix 1 part disinfecting Pine-sol or Lysol, to 1 part water. Use a spray bottle for convenience.
Peony Leaf Blotch: Another common peony disease is peony leaf blotch, also known as peony measles. Click on Peony Blotch/Measles for more information.
Ants: Don’t worry if you see ants on peony buds as they protect the blossoms from predators. In exchange, they feed on the peony’s nectar, which does not hurt the plant. For information on tree peonies, click on Tree Peonies
THE GARDEN WEBSITE INDEX
Click on the links below to be redirected.
for the tropical Gardener
While working in Florida as horticultural consultant, it became apparent that there was a need for a book on tropical shrubs. There are so many wonderful shrubs to choose from, so I wrote a reference book to make the selections easier. Ornamental Tropical Shrubs includes pictures in full colour and information about the plants in point form. So if you live in the tropics and subtropics and need a reference book on tropical shrubs, or you just want to have a look-see click here.
Copyright 2017 The Garden Website.com, Amanda's Garden Consulting Company - All Rights Reserved