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Taking advantage of the light midsummer evenings

LOUISE MIDGLEY makes the most of the long balmy evenings to keep her borders in order

Watering the hanging baskets, newly planted specimens, tomatoes and cucumbers in the greenhouse has to be my main priority during this ‘Flaming June’ heatwave.

However, there’s a multitude of other jobs that need doing, such as tying in climbing clematis stems, deadheading roses and perennials, cutting back shrubs that have flowered, edging the grass and weeding, to name just a few!

The south facing border had its outstanding, moment of glory earlier in the month when the first flush of roses, bearded Iris, Antirrhinums, Alliums and Peonies came out simultaneously.

Interest will be extended throughout summer with a lovely array of Penstemons, pink Gauras, Dahlias, annual Cosmos and the David Austin roses, which will re-flower sporadically throughout summer and early autumn.

We have had an unprecedented number of nesting birds in the garden this spring, including wrens, blackbirds, pigeons and even a pair of long tailed tits. I spotted them flying back and forth from their carefully constructed and very distinctive nest, in the large Rhamnus shrub.

It was a moment of pure pleasure, as they are such infrequent visitors to this area. Robins too nested in the garden but sadly chose a very unsuitable, exposed position between two boxes next to the greenhouse. 

While they were off gathering food, I took a quick peak at the tiny babies huddled together and realised if I could see them so could the Jay that was taking an all too unhealthy interest in the comings and goings of the parents. By the next day, the nest was empty.

On a happier note, baby robins were successfully fledged from a nest in the front garden, a few weeks later. Robins are extremely territorial so I’m hoping it was the same pair that lost their first brood.

Competition Time

If you are a keen gardener and have invested a lot of time and effort into your plot this year, why not consider sharing it with others by entering Wilko’s Amateur Gardener of the Year competition.

There are six categories to enter and all you need do, to be in with a chance of winning a prize, is send in a photo of the category that best suits your garden to: wilkogardener@wearebrazenpr.com

You can enter as many categories as you like but only send in one photo per category. And don’t be put off if you are short on space and only have a balcony or small patio, because one of the categories is for the best hanging basket.

For more details click here

Closing date 30th September 2017